Slawson Graduate Shares Heartfelt and Motivational Journey

Nancy delivered such a heartfelt and motivating speech at Slawson Southeast Occupational Center's graduation during which she received her High School Diploma! Now she is on her way towards becoming a paramedic!

Read the full speech below:

Good morning Slawson Southeast Occupational Center guests, staff,
students, family, and friends. My name is Nancy and I stand before you today, along with my fellow classmates, as a proud high school graduate! A few years ago, my mother’s friend suggested that I enroll at Slawson and I’m very glad that I did. After attending Slawson for a few weeks, I loved it! I felt comfortable here because, for the first time in my educational journey, my teachers and counselors showed me compassion. Compassion was something that I had never experienced at my past schools.

Early on in my life, school was not my thing. In fact, school was a place where I was bullied by other students and yelled at by my teachers while they often sat me in the corner of the classroom facing the wall. The teachers told my mom that I was a slow learner. However, looking back, I realize that I was not provided the resources to help me succeed. I wanted a reason to like school, but that reason didn’t become a reality until I came to Slawson. I needed a teacher, a counselor, or an administrator to show me that they cared about my educational goals.

Before coming to this school, my mom had already been diagnosed with breast cancer. Unfortunately, I fell into depression as my mother’s illness became worse. I used drugs for a couple of years and for a while, I was lost. Luckily, surrounded by the love and support that I needed, and the love that I had for myself and for my family, I got help. I got sober!

Shortly after getting sober, my mother’s cancer spread and she passed away. Once again I went through depression. Thankfully, I had a network of people at Slawson like my counselor, Mr. Dan Reyes who guided me in explaining what I had to do to get my diploma. Mr. Lee, my first ACCT teacher who reminded me to turn in my assignments, showed me tough love and didn’t drop me from his class. Ms. Lorena
Garcia who’s helped me so much! She even helped me get my first job through HUB cities at the age of 16 at the Huntington Park City Hall as an assistant clerk. Thanks to Ms. Cairy, my current ACCT teacher who helped me with math and motivated me to join the Slawson Student Council where I developed my leadership skills as the student council Secretary. I would like to thank the people within my family and beyond who NEVER GAVE UP on me. Because of their encouragement, I NEVER GAVE UP ON MYSELF!

Although I have had my share of good times and bad times, just like many of you here today, it’s important that we believe in ourselves because we have a lot to contribute to our community and family.

This past December, I completed an Emergency Medical Technician Program and obtained a certificate. Currently, I’m studying for the EMT national registry exam. My goal in life is to become a paramedic and eventually be a firefighter. I know that one day I’ll accomplish my dreams.

If there is anyone in the crowd today who is thinking of going back to school for a diploma, a HiSET certificate, to learn English, or to train for a new career, JUST DO IT! You only have one life to live! Do something that makes you happy.

Congratulations to all of us here at Slawson Southeast Occupational Center. May we all realize our dreams! Thank you for your attention!
Have an amazing day!
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