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Mom found motivation to succeed at VC

By BY HAYDE RENTERIA
May 28, 2014 at 12:28 a.m.

Hayde Renteria

The Victoria Advocate will be publishing student essays from the Victoria College "What's Your Story?" scholarship competition during the next few weeks. Students were asked to write an essay answering the question, "How has Victoria College changed your life?" The following essay was written by one of the winners of the contest, who will receive a $1,000 scholarship funded by the Victoria College Foundation. We welcome letters and columns from all students.

I'm a wife and mother of four children. I have three healthy kids and one, our youngest, of 1 year who was born with a cleft lip and palate.

Victoria College brings more motivation to my life with just the simple fact that one day, I showed up at the Adult Education Center to get information about my GED and came out with so many choices to improve my education. The moment you step into the Adult Ed Center, you're already smiling. The environment inside there is just wonderful. It makes you feel wonderful. The teachers and advisers and the words they share are what keeps my motor going. They want to see you succeed.

I was previously enrolled in Adult Ed in 2006 but didn't do anything. I quit. I enrolled again in 2012 and did the same - nothing. I enrolled once again this past year while I was pregnant and did move up on my levels but, the day my son with a cleft lip arrived, I had to stay home and give him all my attention. He was a special baby who needed lots of help from me to eat and survive.

Today, I am here one more time - strong, motivated and confident - determined to succeed.

I have a good feeling in my gut that tells me I'm going to do it. I am going to make this happen. What I have always wished for and never had the courage of doing, I will do. I will make my parents proud and give the best example to my children.

Since the day my son was born, we were surrounded by professionals: doctors, nurses, therapists and so on. They took care of my baby like if he was family to them. The NICU nurses were the best. I would look at them with tears in my eyes and just couldn't find the words to express the appreciation I felt for them.

One nurse came to meet me because she had a son with the same birth defect. We spoke for a few minutes, talking about our same experience with our children. She was young, just like me, when her son was born and didn't have a clue on how she was going to take care of him, but when I met her, she was working at the hospital as a registered nurse. That brave woman gave me the best example anyone could have given me. She gave me hope. She motivated me. My faith grew bigger, and best of all, she made me feel happy down deep in my heart and made me smile that day - something that wouldn't happen much, seeing how my newborn baby couldn't eat.

Today, one year has passed. My son has had two major surgeries and is doing well. I began to have some extra time for myself and have chosen to spend that time in school. It is not easy to pick up after being out of school for many years, but I will not give up. I will give my best at this new challenge that has me feeling motivated and alive.

My mind is set to have a career in health. I know I will greatly enjoy working daily to help people fight their illnesses. I want to help them recuperate from whatever procedures they have done, but nothing would make me happier than to work with babies - especially babies with special needs just like mine. That way, I can return what those caring nurses did and keep doing for my son when he most needs it.

Finally, I am taking my first baby steps into my new career path with all the joy and motivation in the world. Having the opportunity to enter this contest for this scholarship has me feeling strong. Victoria College brings me more motivation, and this will close out my "What's Your Story" story essay. Thank you.

Hayde Renteria is a nursing student at Victoria College and a winner of the 2014-15 "What's Your Story?" scholarship. She lives in Victoria.

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