|KDChi Alpha Xi Sister writes about her last semester of college|
The Courage to Succeed
By Ana Brenda Briones
Texas A&M University at Commerce
As I look back, I realize how blessed I’ve been throughout these years. When I was five years old, my dad had to make the difficult decision to immigrate to the United States to give my siblings and I a better quality of life. After several years, when I was 13 years old, my mom and my little sister immigrated to the United States with my dad, leaving behind two of my siblings and I. Being away from mom was one of the hardest things I’ve faced, holding the responsibility to take care of the house, myself, and support my siblings. My mom would call me every weekend and I couldn’t stop the tears coming down my face every time I heard her voice. Two years passed by without seeing my mom and dad. One Saturday morning, my mom called telling me I’d be leaving Mexico that same day and going to the United States. The excitement I felt to know I’d see my parents again was unexplainable.
From a very young age I was highly motivated and had very high ambitions. One of the most vivid memories I have is going with my mom to the bank and telling her “One day I want to be like him,” as I looked at the bank’s general manager. At that age I knew I wanted to be a successful woman. I graduated from elementary school and middle school as a top student of my class.
My mom enrolled me in school as a sophomore and my journey in the United States begun. The first day I went to school I wanted to cry. The school seemed so big, but more intimidating was that I didn’t speak any English. I was placed in ESL classes. I felt that was the only time I could be myself because my classmates’ situation was similar. At this time, I knew I needed to work harder than the average student. I needed to learn English and keep up with my classes. In my junior year, I received the “Light House Award” for being the best student in my ESL class. During my senior year, I had no clue what college I was attending, but I knew I was attending one. I enrolled in a community college near home. Now, the issue was money. Luckily, I was a Rising Star recipient, which paid my school for two years. I became involved in different organizations to develop myself as a leader because I wanted to help people that, like me, had faced biculturalism. I enjoyed inspiring, motivating, and helping others.
On May 2010, I graduated with my associate’s degree in Business from Eastfield College. I completed one more step. Later, I got accepted to attend Texas A&M University-Commerce to pursue my Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a double major in Spanish. I received scholarships that helped pay my full tuition. College has been one of the most amazing experiences in my life. Being away from home motivated me to work 100 percent and make my parents proud. I became the Public Relations officer of the Hispanic Student Association on campus and I also joined Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. where I met wonderful, intelligent, and caring sisters.
This summer I had the pleasure to be a Marketing and Special events intern at LATINA Style Magazine where I learned how to behave in a professional business environment. Right now I’m in my last semester of college. At the moment I’m researching into different schools to continue with my MBA. I can’t express how grateful I am with God because he has crossed my path with wonderful people all my life. I am grateful for the courage he has given me to make the best out of every situation. Like the Greek philosopher Epictetus said “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”
Ana Brenda (middle) with her sorority sisters.