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Winning Essays 2014 > Gustavo


Winning Essay: Gustavo M. Villa, Jr.

Why a Degree? 

GustavoSome people believe that goals are impossible to reach. For a time I was one of those people. I believed that I would not ever be able to accomplish my goals of becoming a better person and changing the world around me. Growing up is never easy for anyone, and growing up with a disability is even harder. I have always been told that I could not do this or that, that I had to be careful, or that I was not strong enough. While this did discourage me at times and made me look down on myself, I knew that in my heart I was born to do something special. I was born with Cerebral Palsy and was placed in Special Education classes from elementary to high school. It was tough for me because I would have trouble walking and writing, but my parents always taught me to never give up.

It was these lessons and values of hard work and dedication which showed me I could reach for the stars and become whatever I set my mind to. They gave me the chance to look at the world in a whole new way. I was able and determined to do what I needed to accomplish my goal of becoming a teacher and giving back not only to my community but to the future generations of my family.  Doing so would show them that no matter what, they are important, and if they are true to themselves, they will be able to change the world, too. 

I lost my father on August 5, 2009. That hit me hard; I had given up on everything, but it was this loss and the help that I received from counselors and friends that gave me the chance to turn around and go after what I want. That was when I decided to return to school and pursue my degree. While I had many different options on where to go to school, it was through the help of Melissa Marlowe, head of the Drama department, that I realized that Northwest Vista College was the school for me.

It was this loss and the help that I received that make me want to get a degree from Northwest Vista College.  I am now within only two semesters of accomplishing my goal of obtaining my Associates degree in Drama. To see that I have been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA and work full time is an accomplishment within itself.  This could not have been possible without the help of the many professors and staff that I have had the pleasure and opportunity to meet and learn from. In this, my fourth semester, I have learned with hard work and dedication I will succeed here and reach my goal of graduating with my Associates degree in Drama and then go on to pursue my Bachelor’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake University.