⇚ Back : Meet Araceli, 16

“When I started working as a lifeguard this past summer, at Splashtown, I um – I realized that I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, because we were always with, working with little kids. You know, being around little kids is something that I wouldn’t mind doing for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t mind being a kindergarten teacher.”

 

“My name is Araceli Martinez, I’m sixteen years old. I’m from San Antonio, Texas. My parents are divorced. I used to live with my mom, and I took care of my little brother and my little sister because my mom was always working. I did everything, cooked, cleaned, washed, everything. My dad didn’t go to college. My mom didn’t go to college. I will be the first out of my family to actually go to college.”

 

“I need to be the role model. I need to get things done. I need to start working now. Studying harder – you know, turning my work in on time. I think I would say that’s one of my biggest problems. I have to really, you know, buckle down and you know, get my work in on time, do good on my tests…SATs are coming up, too, junior year. I know it’s going to take a lot of hard work.”

 

“My dad, you know, he always tells me, go to college, go to college. But he doesn’t know, you know, how hard the work is. He didn’t go; his – his parents didn’t go. So I don’t think he exactly knows how hard it is going to be to get there. I think talking to my dad about financial aid would probably be complicated. I mean, I don’t think that he would want me to know how much he makes in a year. So, having him to write it down on paper…I think would be hard for him and me.”

 

“Dad, I need your help in helping me fill out financial aid papers. It may be hard, but together, we can do it. It’s something that needs to get done – and it will help me with college, which is something you want me to do. You know, what needs to be done, needs to be done, you know.”

 

“We are strong. We are independent. We are ready for careers. We support our families. We want to go to college. We face new challenges. We have unlimited potential. We believe in our future. We follow our dreams. We are leaders of tomorrow.”

 

“I’ve never been told, you know, you’re strong. I’ve never been told, you know, you can do it. So, I’m determined – and I think this just makes me want to do it all the more. Generation Texas is awesome. When I heard about it, I was like, oh, wow, you know – that’s amazing, that there’s people out there who are helping young people get together, and help each other, you know? That’s amazing. I want to do it, too. That’s really cool.”

 

“I am who I say I am. And I’m going to do what I say I’m going to do. I’m going to be strong and independent, and I’m going to find my career – and I’m going to go to college.”

 

“My name is Araceli, and I am Generation Texas.”