10 Things You Didn't Know About Me and My Education

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me and My Education #ForTheDream

This is part of a sponsored campaign with DiMe Media and Coca-Cola. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Here are 10 things you didn’t know about me and my education followed by the greatest lesson that I learned. 

  1. I am the first and only person in my family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

  2. My best friend’s parents lent me $600 to attend my first semester in school.

  3. I worked full-time in retail job my entire college career.

  4. It took me eight years to graduate … with a bachelor’s degree.

  5. I got a call a week before I crossed the graduation stage that I didn’t graduate.

  6. I had to adjust my degree from double major Spanish/Mass Communications to Mass Communication Major/Spanish Minor because I should have taken one Spanish class elective but took Guitar 101 instead.

  7. I don’t know how to play the guitar.

  8. I’m still learning Spanish. Wait. You may have already known that.

  9. I studied abroad in Spain for a summer and it was the best student loan money that I ever spent.

  10. Going to and graduating from college changed my life.


July 13_Facebook

From the list above, I’m most concerned with number one. Notice number 10? It’s true. Going to college and graduating from college did change my life. And that’s what I wish for my family.

There were experiences and lessons that I learned from supporting myself through college that have shaped me to be the woman that I am today. Today, I get to wake up every day and work on my dreams of being a successful entrepreneur.  The most important lesson that I learned was to never give up. There were plenty of times that I wanted to. Frankly, who could tell me not to?  Remember, I was the first person in my family to get a degree.

It was meeting fellow students who had less than I and still showed up every day that kept me going.

It was studying abroad and learning about a world outside of my own that kept me going.

It was diving into my Chicano-Literature classes and learning that people who looked like me were authors and had PhD’s that kept me going.

I learned to never give up.

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I remember after having a grueling week at work and tiring week of school, I was feeling pretty defeated. A friend looked at me straight in the eyes and said, “You are one of the strongest people that I know.” He went on to say that he knew others who gave up way before they reached the point where I was.

The strongest person he knew?! That kept me going. It was hard, queridos. I had to work to pay for college and when I finally could get student loans, I had to work to pay rent, my food, my bills and my car.

I never gave up. I graduated.

 

It’s not too late for my family or anyone to finish their degrees. And to the next generation, I hope that my real story of persistence is an example for them to never give up on getting to and through college. I share my experiences with them. I also share resources with them because I don’t want them to have to work full-time like I did while working towards their degrees.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund #FortheDreamSweeps

Financial pressure is the number one reason Hispanic youth do not attend college. As a community supporter and partner of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Coca-Cola’s #ForTheDream program is helping provide Hispanic families with the resources needed to go to college and achieve a higher education.

The For The Dream program has a sweepstakes component, #ForTheDreamSweeps, in which Coca-Cola is awarding one College Tour Experience and 34 x $500 grants to cover education expenses.

  • There are two ways to enter the sweepstakes:
    • Entering a product code on its microsite: http://coke.com/forthedream
    • Posting a selfie on Twitter or Instagram with someone who is helping you achieve your college dreams, and hashtagging it #ForTheDreamSweeps.
  • The #ForTheDream program and #ForTheDreamSweeps starts July 1, and ends Aug. 31.

For more information, please visit http://coke.com/forthedream.


Coca-Cola Themed Summer Prize Pack GIVEAWAY

After you have enter the #FortheDreamSweeps, I have another fun giveaway! Who loves Coca-Cola gear? Thanks to Coca-Cola, I have a fun Coca-Cola-themed Summer Prize pack that features a logo cooler bag, sunglasses, Mason Jar tumbler and a visor for one lucky Que Means What reader!

Melanie Mendez-Gonzales

Original content creator for ¿Qué Means What? Texas Latina mom blogger celebrating culture in education, entertainment and family life.

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5 Responses

  1. Melissa D says:

    Your story sure is inspiring! College was pretty much expected of me, but I had to figure out how to pay for it. (I’m still paying for it, to be honest.) I can’t believe how much more expensive tuition is these days!

    • Melanie Mendez-Gonzales says:

      It is so much more expensive today, Melissa. All the more reason to continue to encourage students to seek resources early. We don’t want that to be the reason they don’t get a quality education. (I’m still paying for it, too 🙂 )

  2. Thanks for sharing your story, Melanie. ¡Que fortaleza! I tell my students that getting a bachelor’s degree is like running a marathon. You have to keep running until the finish line, and you can’t let any obstacle get in your way. Felicidades for all your accomplishments! xo, Denise

    • Melanie Mendez-Gonzales says:

      That’s great advice, Denise! Thanks for encouraging them and being real with them. It was so discouraging to hear others tell me that I should be done already. Students just need to hear “You have to keep running until the finish line” Thank you!

  1. August 3, 2015

    […] CLICK TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY! –> […]

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