Because We Have a Purpose

Growing up in a multicultural household provided me with a unique perspective, seamlessly transitioning between two worlds until my introduction to elementary school. It was then that I realized the societal tendency to categorize individuals as "different." My initial placement in ESL classes led my mother to advocate for my education, emphasizing my ability to comprehend both English and Spanish. Fond memories of visits from my grandparents from Mexico stand out, as traveling to them with my siblings proved challenging due to our large family size. Growing up, solidarity among Latinx peers was a constant, offering a sense of shared experiences and understanding.

My mother played a pivotal role, steadfast in her support for my academic and extracurricular pursuits until her illness became known in my 3rd grade year. Her subsequent passing during my formative years left an indelible mark, altering the course of my family dynamics and responsibilities. The burden of translation and unfamiliar responsibilities reshaped my adolescence, leading to a period of neglecting my passions and academic performance.

Upon entering high school, thoughts of attending college had not yet materialized. The absence of guidance on post-secondary options persisted until senior year, when college representatives visited, sparking my ambition to become the first in my family to pursue higher education. Despite discouraging remarks from a teacher, I persevered in my college applications and secured acceptance with scholarships, embarking on a transformative journey filled with opportunities to enrich my personal growth and establish valuable connections.

During my college tenure, I facilitated impactful initiatives, including a partnership between my college and Manna Foodbank, a distinction within the Western Carolina region. Elected to leadership roles by my peers, such as SGA President, I advocated for student welfare and progress. Delivering the graduation speech, I imparted a message “ It is up to us how we let each moment of life affect us and how we think the outcome will completely change our lives forever.”

No matter how things get in life we have to remember that whatever comes our way, the good or the bad, those are the moments that impact our lives and help mold us into who we are meant to be. I always try to share a mantra that has guided me through challenges and inspired others: “Never let anyone discourage you or make you feel like you’re too much or not enough. Every day is a gift and we are all still here because we each have a purpose, so take up all the space that you can get. Stand out and never change for anyone, change for you, and don’t feel bad doing so.” 

Reflecting on this incredible journey has truly transformed my growth, opening doors to amazing opportunities. Now, I find myself excelling in a role that perfectly aligns with my goals, all thanks to my self-belief and perseverance, supported by those who believed in me back in high school and continued to do so through college graduation. Their unwavering support has been instrumental in my success, as I now have the privilege of working alongside them. Returning to my high school to help  guide first-generation, and second generation students as they transition into post-high school life has been incredibly fulfilling. Interacting with these bright individuals is undeniably the highlight of my day. I eagerly await updates from these future graduates, filled with pride witnessing their dedication and resilience throughout their academic journey.

Written by Gabby Galvan, adviser at North Henderson High School



Gabby Galvan, adviser North Henderson High School
Published: May 13, 2024 11:48am