Born and rise in South Los Angeles. Gaspar, I am the youngest of four kids. I will be the first son that will graduate high school with out dropping out. Being the first generation in my family planning to attend a university makes my family and I proud. I believe in taking advantage of everything that life is giving me. I really don’t have good opportunities for school here in my community. But when I see an opportunity that will help me financially or educational I take it. Why do you think that students here in south Los Angeles don’t get a lot of opportunities? I think that it is because of the bad stereotypes that the people in the real world have about students in this area, especially Jefferson High School (“They are bad,” “they are too violent,” “Is there still riots there?”). For this reason we don’t get a lot of donation or scholarships for the school.
Being part of Los Angeles Unified School District for all my life has impacted my views of college, before I thought that college was like “whatever”. Now I think that college is my future and the opportunity to succeed in life. LAUSD is the third largest school district in the United States. Bliblarz a writer of Los Angles Time states that LAUSD has an increase in students’ dropout of 33%. Reading this article made me realize that I didn’t want to be part of those statistics. Not only had my brothers dropping out of high school motivated me to stay in school, so did the statistic that says one in three high school students drop out of high school.
I started attending Jefferson High school on 2005-2006. Jefferson High is one of the schools with the lowest high school graduates in LAUSD. Why do you think student do not graduate from high school? The first reason that students don’t graduate is because of the lack of attention towards the student, or another reason that they don’t graduate is because some students could not pass the California High School Exit Exam. Many students take the CAHSEE and don’t pass. Some don’t have enough credits to take the CAHSEE. When I saw that my friends were dropping out of high school because they thought that school was too hard or maybe because the didn’t like school. All the bad things that I saw in my community motivated me to do well in school. I didn’t get a lot of attention at Jefferson. Once the bell at the end of the day ring not single bodies stayed in the classes, the only thing that you saw in the school is all the sports team. Some of the teachers were really irresponsible or I always had substitutes.
My sophomore year I attend New Technology High School. When I started to attend New Tech I was in a totally different environment. There I had the attention of most of the teachers because it was a small school. I realized that it was not the same as Jefferson; New Tech was more difficult compare to Jeff. They took the CAHSEE very seriously and they put us in tutoring class for the CAHSEE. When I was in the extra class at the end of the day was frustrated and always complain about the class. After being in that class for a while, I thought to my self and said that I was in that class for a reason. When I passed the CAHSEE after taking it three times, I admired myself. I think that if I were still being at Jefferson I would have not passed it. I also thank New Tech not only because they help me pass the CAHSEE also because they got introduced into college class. I took a variety of college class that will help me get my credits and have college units.
When I started attending college class it motivated me to go to a four year university. Now I have enough credits to graduate high school and I am getting ready for college. Now I am taking a lot of scholarship programs that are going to give me money for college. I have been attending the infrastructure program (Infrastructure Academy) for the past month. This program is going to help me my college essay and personal statement. There are many things that this program is going to help me to get ready for college. This program is going to give a 300 dollar scholarship for college. Another program that I been attending is the Warner Brother Mentoring program. In this program I just talk to a mentor and if I want we could socialize as good friends. The mentoring program is going to give me 500 dollar scholarship. Another opportunity that I have is reading books for my school. I would get 100 dollars for every 10 books I read. I think that there should not be any students that would not go college because of money. There are many ways that you could get money for college. Another way to go to college is by having good grades and getting a good SAT score. You get a lot of scholarships for having good grades.
Here in South Los Angeles I am limited in opportunities. There are not of opportunities but when there is some you should take advantage of them. Just paying good attention for the scholarship that could help for a career. Not following my friend’s steps and taking advantage of the opportunities that gave me are going to help me for my career. Now that I am ready for graduation coming up on June 2009 I am proud of my self. Also thinking of what I did to accomplish everything I did to graduate. I also thought about the good opportunities that I took and I am taking. I believe in taking advantage of the good opportunities life gave me
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.