Editor’s note: We are so proud of our graduating high school students, who later this year will begin attending colleges and universities. “A Tale of Two Santa Anas” is our latest blog series, where the seniors tell their personal story in their own words.
I’m an optimistic person. Maybe I got that way because I’ve seen difficult situations and learned the importance of making wise decisions.
For about 10 of my 17 years, my family and I have lived in an apartment where the neighborhood confronts the bad that comes from gangs, drugs, violence and poverty.
When my family first moved into the neighborhood, my twin 17-year-old sister, Leslie, and me looked around and said to each other, “What is this all about? Are we going to be safe?”
But I came to realize that new surroundings are also new beginnings. The gangs and drugs did not attract me. Instead, I said to myself, “That’s a problem. Avoid it. Don’t get pulled in.”
In June, my sister and I are graduating from Godinez Fundamental High School and in September we’ll both begin attending California State University, Fullerton. I’m majoring in communications. I’ll focus on either public relations or speech.
I love to write, and I’m an active blogger about music on social media, with over 3,000 followers!
So much credit goes to my parents and to the staff and volunteers and KidWorks who helped me all these years.
My parents always emphasized the importance of family. “Family first,” is one of my Mom’s favorite sayings. Another is, “Everything comes in its time.”
To me, these words of wisdom mean to put others above material objects and to not grow up too fast.
Some of my friends ask, “What’s the name of that center you go to?” “It’s called Kidworks,” I say.
We need more places like KidWorks and more people like the staff and volunteers there who help students like me!
By Kaely Catalan