‘I believe that any profession can be done with desire and eagerness. I also believe that my education is my duty and critical to my success.’
“I always wanted to be an artist, but I just didn’t know how I would make a living of it. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11, so my mother always told me to make sure I have a job that has benefits.
“Being a driven individual has always been a quality that I’ve wanted others to mention about me. I worked my way up in a company starting from an accounts receivable clerk to assistant project manager of a demolition company. Then I took on a more demanding role as a warehouse manager of a plumbing company.
“Despite some good decisions, the passing of my close friend solidified the determination to become what I’ve always wanted to be, an art educator. Overall happiness, instead of just financial happiness, became my motivation to attain a career in the arts.
“During the last weeks of my friend’s life, I sat next to him, pressed up against his hospital bed, hearing every inhaling and exhaling sound of his life support. At the time, I was 30 and going through my own personal struggles.
What motivated me about the study of art education is how I will be able to help students navigate their future, opening their minds to the endless opportunities that life has to offer.
“My new job was exhausting. The night shift I worked took a noticeable toll on my body, and I was losing things I’ve worked so hard for. None of my struggles compared to what my dear friend was enduring. I learned a valuable life lesson from this heartbreaking experience.
“There are many things he wanted to accomplish that were left unfinished. I decided I want to accomplish those unfinished things in my life before it’s my time to go.
“I went back to school for my degrees. I believe that any profession can be done with desire and eagerness. I also believe that my education is my duty and critical to my success.
“What motivated me about the study of art education is how I will be able to help students navigate their future, opening their minds to the endless opportunities that life has to offer.
“Being a teacher, I’m able to be involved in the arts and motivate people and have that security my mom wanted for me. I teach high school studio arts and media in Brentwood High School. My students have won national awards.
“What I want people to know is the perseverance I’ve gone through, just constantly pushing through to get to where I want to be, and all the hard work it took to get here.”
Interviewed by Liza Burby