“What’s Your Story?” is a Victoria College scholarship contest sponsored by the Victoria College Foundation. Students competed for a $1,000 scholarship in four different categories. They either wrote an essay (500-750 words) or produced a video (2-3 minutes) sharing their story for the chosen topic. The 2017 topic was: “We all have a story.”
Today, having a degree has a huge impact on a person’s life. For example, it depicts where you live and where or if your children will go to college. At an early age, I knew I did not want to depend on anyone to support me and that I needed to work hard to make something of myself.
Getting an education will help shape my future because I will not have to live paycheck to paycheck. One day, when I have children, I will be able to mentor and guide them, as well as children in my community, and make a difference in people’s lives through physical therapy services.
My whole life, I have watched my parents struggle to make ends meet, and it has made me realize that by getting an education I will not have to live paycheck to paycheck. While growing up, my family could barely afford to keep food on the table. I was never a demanding child because I knew my parents were on a tight budget, trying to provide for my three brothers and me. High school was stressful because I got a job at a young age, so I could help my family financially.
My family members, co-workers and teachers have all stressed to me the difficulty of trying to find a good job without a degree. My dad moved to the states from El Salvador at a young age, and he has always told me to take advantage of the opportunities I have, that he did not. When my mother lost her job a year ago, she applied to several places, but any other applicant with a degree trumped her. During those months she was unemployed, my mom would cry often, and watching her struggle has motivated me to achieve my educational goals.
By getting an education, I will be able to help guide and mentor younger children. Being a first-generation college student is difficult because I do not have anyone to run to when I have questions. There is a lot of pressure on me to not make mistakes because I cannot afford to. When I get older, I plan on helping children in the community by volunteering at high schools to help them with college applications, the SAT, etc. I hope to influence younger children and show them that no matter where you come from, you can work hard to pursue your goals.
Getting an education will allow me to make a difference in other people’s lives in the future, through physical therapy services. I have always had a desire to help people, and that is why I have chosen to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy. Being able to go to work every day and help people work toward their goals excites me.
There are several factors that motivate me to get my education. I want to live a better life and not worry about how I am going to provide for myself. Getting an education will allow me to live a happy life and make a difference in other people’s lives as well.
Norma Zelaya, one of the winners of the “What’s Your Story” scholarship contest, is a sophomore at Victoria College majoring in general studies.