⇚ Back : Meet Isael, 18

“My parents, they are hard workers. They work and they provide us what we need – and they settle for a lot. My dad was born in indistinguishable, and my mom was born in Laredo, Texas.”


“My name is Isael Gonzales Rijas, and I go to Lanier High School. It’s down on the west side. Class of 2011. My mom finished high school – she went to college for two years, but I don’t think she finished it. And my dad just went to high school.”


“I will be the first one to go to college. My dad, he does sprinklers – you know, he puts tubes and everything underground. He always comes and says – “me dice que vaya a la escuela, y que cabe la escuela, y que tenga un futuro,  y que no sea como él.” (he tells me to go to school, and to finish school, and to have a future, and to not be like him.) His life was different, ‘cause he worked hard, and I guess he didn’t really have a lot of encouragement and support from his family.”


“It’s hard for them to find a job and to raise us, and to pay bills. Every time I get money, I just put it in the bank and start saving from there. But it’s hard, because when you save and then something happens, then you have to take out the money and help them – so that they won’t cut the water, or the light. It makes me feel good, ‘cause you know, like I’m helping out my parents, and what they need – and you know, like I’m part of the family. So, you know, I gotta help.”


“I give them back, like helping them, and doing good grades, so that I know I could do it. So, when I’m applying colleges, you know, like I have to look how I’m going to pay, and apply for scholarships too. Because this – you know, something big, and something that I have to do that will help me.”


“I want to be a coach; a basketball coach. Or a sports trainer or a physical therapist. So, that’s like…a big thing for me. I’ll have to step up and be a model, and show that I could do it.”


“I think Generation Texas would be good, cause you know, like, I want to support the people that are out there, and help them, and…. Generation Texas is for people that will help you in life, and encourage you. That makes me feel that there’s people that want me to become something, or go for what I want.”


“I am Generation Texas.”