I want you to know something; you’re worth more than what you think. I’m writing to you from 5 years into the future; you’re a senior at Alta Vista ready to graduate, you have a job at the Country Club Plaza, thanks to our sister, and our parents are doing well getting along. It sounds pretty neat doesn’t it? You probably think these next 5 years are going to go by great…you’re wrong.
When you began Alta Vista, you were ready, you had your mind set to do your absolute best and everyone believed in you, but somewhere along the line you changed. You went from the guy with a plan to Kevin the flunk and high school drop out. Alta Vista was great, you met people, they took you in as their friend, you had a social life. It’s great, but you forgot that you’re still in school and there’s work to do. You did nothing, but get distracted and it cost you everything. Whenever you got to studying, and you get tired, you quit. Your new mindset was to try your best in school, but not worry too much about it, because you already have a job at the bakery. That bakery closed on the 4th of July, 2015. Our dad struggled to live because he couldn’t afford the bakery to close. Business was bad, he delivered all day, pushed every fiber in his body to bake all night, most of the time he couldn’t sleep, our mom was worried about what was going to happen, she tried talking to him, but it only turned into a fight. They struggled to keep your life going and you only thought about finding the easy way out, because you were lazy. Our parents did not bring us here so we can take what have for granted. If that is ever your American Dream, then go live in Mexico and struggle for a peso like they did for you. You only had one job, do well in school and you didn’t even try. The school, your respect, your friends, your life, was all gone. Those “friends” you had were never your friends; they always talked negative about you behind your back, they mistreated/bullied you, and you were known as an outcast. Tell me what was worth doing nothing for, because I don’t know.
You messed up, but you realized it when it was too late. It cost you all you had in order for you to realize that you were gonna have to grow up. You could’ve lost hope and settle with what you had then, but you didn’t. If I know myself well, I know that there is always a chance. After 6 months of dropping out, you enrolled back to school. You knew what you had to do; you had a plan. You completed an entire year’s worth of school work in under 4 months and passed your freshman year. You enrolled back to Alta Vista and you continued your education. You gave the bakery a proper ending by working next to your dad every night on its last year of business, giving him the rest he deserved and an improved health.
You did all of that, through hard work and perseverance. But it was hard, it took you patience and self control, because not many people could have put up with months of negative comments, disrespect, and slurs. Getting told to your face “You could’ve graduated”, “You flunked you don’t know”, or “Why did you come back?” didn’t stop you. Your old “friends” may have looked at you as a failure, but your plan distracted you from them. Like Rocky Balboa said, “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward.” So even though you were called an idiot by your dad and brother, even though your family did not believe in you anymore, even though you were pushed, and left out by others, you kept walking and continued your education.
The American Dream is not to waste the freedom you have, but it is for you to use it and become whatever it is you want to be, through hard work and initiative. Do I regret flunking freshman year? Of course, but was it a mistake? No. I have a new class of 2016 who don’t care about what happened before. Who see me as a classmate and not an outcast. Who help me, because I helped them, and who can rely on me if they ever need something and I’m around. I had to work hard to be where I am now, and put up with so much, but you don’t. I guarantee that if you work hard through all 4 years of high school, you will be better than me.