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It’s Never Too Late – Reflections of an Associate Teacher

Life is about making choices, and there are times when we choose wrong but when we choose right, we have to thank all the forces that influenced that choice.

If you met me today, you’d think that I must have been an obedient child and always worked really hard. Believe it or not, I was truant. I missed weeks of school at a time.

I was your average teenager, a rebel against authority. I acted out on the pretense that I was making a statement. Why was I sitting in a classroom when I felt like I could learn so much more on my own?

I was expelled and when I thought that was the end of my education career, I ended up attending a continuation school where the teachers believed in me. They told me that, if I really wanted to make a difference, I needed to do something productive. Skipping school and giving up on education was only hurting myself and not helping anyone. I buckled up, worked really hard, went to night school, and got accepted to college.

Fast forward to today, I am working as an Associate Teacher at Alpha: José Hernández where I get to work with 5th to 8th graders, who are going through a transition phase in their life. They are navigating the rough waters of entering teenage-hood and I see a lot of myself in these scholars’ faces. I know what it’s like to come from an economically disadvantaged community. I know what it feels like to meet adults who understand. I know how important it is to have a sense of community, to feel like you belong.

I am grateful for all the forces that intervened to turn my life around and I hope that I can be the same influence for the scholars I work with when they’re faced with tough decisions.