Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Barrio Writer Lorena Garcia, Guest Speaker at Chapman University!

It is a great honor to introduce you to Lorena Garcia, she has been with Barrio Writers since June 2009. She published her first piece titled, "Sparky" in the 1st Edition of Barrio Writers in Spring 2010 and participated in Summer 2010 as well. Her new story, "Saving Our Home" will be published in the 2nd Edition of Barrio Writers scheduled to be released Spring of 2011.

Recently, she was invited to be a guest speaker at Chapman University, she presented the following essay alongside keynote speaker Michele Serros, author of "How to be a Chicana Role Model". Her piece, "My Education" was written to provide insight about her life as a high school student and path to obtaining higher education.

Lorena Garcia was born in the city of Santa Ana located in California. She’s fourteen years old and a freshman at Santa Ana High School. Writing has always been part of her life and in fact, English is her strongest subject in school. Other than writing, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, which consists of three siblings, all older, her parents, her pet dog Mickey, and her bird. In the future, she aspires to become a “New York Times Bestselling Author.”

My Education
      For many people education is something they leave behind without finishing. Sometimes they don’t care or sometimes they don’t have time for it. For me, education is really valuable but living in Santa Ana where the number of high school graduates has been decreasing each year through teenage pregnancy, drugs, or the lack of money, it’s kind of difficult to not get distracted.

      However, I haven’t let that get in my way of pursuing my dreams of finishing high school and going off to community college or even better, a university. Of course, I wouldn’t be where I am right now without the help from my parents who have supported me from the start. Even though they didn’t receive the best education while growing up, they’ve been able to assist me with the supplies and support that I need to be successful in school.

      In my first few weeks of attending Santa Ana High School, I’ve witnessed many students who aren’t interested in school and would rather “ditch” to go hang out with their “friends”. However, I’m certain that this problem is in many schools. I personally think that students who try to run away from their education are running away from their goals as well. They are not only harming themselves, but also harming their future.

      Many kids, who are born here in the United States of America, have a tremendous advantage of getting a great education. However, many take it for granted and let their education slip away. On the other hand, there are others, like my parents, who aren’t born here, and yet they fight everyday to earn a better education, and those are the ones who I call hardworking. My parents didn’t receive the best education possible and didn’t graduate from school, but they’ve taught me the vital facts about finishing school and how everything can be accomplished as long as I set my mind to it.

      For now, my goals are quite straight forward. I’m not only planning on finishing high school with a high grade point average but also receive a scholarship to a university. At this moment, I’m facing one of my toughest phases of life, high school.

      For now, what most students are mainly focused on are their social lives and popularity. They don’t even care how those priorities affect their education. Many think that getting low grades or failing classes are somehow going to make them “cool”. Others laugh when they receive their tests marked with a huge “F” or simply dismiss assignments.

      It’s difficult to not pay attention to those “cool” groups. At times it bothers me that I’m not part of them. But when I put it all aside, I know that once this high school life is over and we move on to the real world, I won’t be seeing ninety-five percent of my peers. Everyone will take different roads and that’s when all the ones who thought education was a waste of time will realize that messing around in school might have made them popular but in the real world it will only make them work twice as hard.

      Sometimes I’m forced to wake up early and go to school on the days I’d rather stay in bed. Those days are hard, but I know at the end of the road I’ll be glad I chose my education and grateful for the long hours my parents have worked to give me the opportunity.

      So what does education mean to me? It means I get to chose to live my dreams. It’s an option everyone should have an opportunity to obtain. It doesn’t matter how old or young we all are or where we come from, we all need an education.

      So next time you see me, I won’t be this young fragile freshmen, instead I’ll be a young woman graduating from a well known university, maybe even from this campus, and on my path to becoming the next New York Times best selling author because along with my education, I have the opportunity to live my dreams.