by Joselyn Yanez

The choice to attend college was mine and mine alone. I knew that it was a doorway to a different life, a better one. One where I can provide my family more than just basic needs, where I have time to bond with my children and support them every step of the way with what they desire. I believe that attending college can help me become a successful woman by balancing work and family life and allowing me to do something I love. I want to major in business as a market research analyst, and this career takes skills college can teach me.

I choose to attend Austin Community College because of its learning environment that encourages students to be active learners and engaged citizens. ACC provides multiple resources that have helped me become a better student, such as academic coaching and being part of the Ascender program. I have received an invaluable education here and, perhaps more importantly for me, guidance, direction, and advice for which I am forever grateful. I say the decision to attend college was entirely my own because I am the first to attend college in my family and faced criticism and derision from my own family for this choice.

My motive for wanting to be part of the business industry was my mother. I live in a single-parent household; my mother works two jobs to provide for my siblings and me. There have been moments where she’s struggled to pay the bills, which breaks my heart. My mother never really saw school as a way to succeed since she didn’t even make it through high school because she had to drop out to help her parents. Due to her always having to work, she wanted me to do the same, but I decided to keep studying. She is unaware of the opportunities college offers; she often discourages me by saying I sit around and do “nothing.” I remember in my second semester of high school, I had stopped going to school for a month because I had to go work since we almost got kicked out of our one-bedroom apartment. For a second, I questioned whether I should drop out since I liked the feeling of having money, something we never had much of in my family. The day I chose to leave school, I faced criticism from my teachers, specifically from my Spanish teacher, because she believed I could do so much better than flipping burgers. She even tried contacting my mom to explain to her the opportunities I had by continuing school, but my mother wasn’t interested. That night I realized only teachers saw I had the potential to get somewhere in life, while the person I loved the most was incapable of viewing a better future for me. I hope to show her how far I can go and make her proud with

the decision I chose.

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