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My South Texas College Experience: A student’s thank you letter

South Texas College prides itself on changing lives  and changing communities. Everyday, students experience the positive influence from dedicated faculty and staff that are committed to bringing out the best in every single one of them. We are honored to share the letter below from one such student who eloquently wrote to STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed, expressing thanks while sharing her South Texas College experience.

Dr. Shirley A. Reed,

I wanted to let you know about my experience at South Texas College.
This experience changed my life. To really understand the scope of my
experience, I feel I must tell you a little about myself.

When I was a child, I had aspirations of changing the world. I guess when
you are young you believe you can accomplish anything. Growing up I was
faced with many obstacles. I didn’t have the family support I yearned for.
My mother was diagnosed with Schizophrenia when I was ten years old. At this
tender age, I took the responsibilities to care for my siblings. At school I
was made fun of and bullied because of my mother¹s condition. It wasn¹t just
my peers that did this; it was my teachers and adults also. I was told I
would never amount to anything. As you can imagine, my self-esteem was low.
After years of being told I wasn¹t good enough, I dropped out of school at
the age of fourteen. I didn¹t have any positive role models. I worked at
dead end jobs to survive. At the age of twenty-seven I decided to get my
GED. In 2011 I was laid off from a job. The Texas Workforce told me to apply
for a program that would help me pay for school. I applied and was accepted.
I was so scared. I have always had issues with math. I had to take a
remedial for math. The first week of class, I went to the CLE at the
technology campus. I was stationed at a computer staring at the screen. I
was looking at my math 85 homework. As I stared at the screen, voices of
negativity filled my head. Tears began to fall. I began to wonder why I was
there. As these overwhelming thoughts filled my head, a young man asked what
I was working on. When I turned to look at him, he introduced himself as
Johnny Resendez supervisor of the CLE. I guess he saw the distress look on
my face. He asked if he could help with anything. I remember feeling
embarrassed. I didn’t know how to tell him I didn’t understand anything. He
went to the board and wrote a problem. He asked what the first step of
solving was. I started to get watery eyes, because I had no clue. I told him
I never learned any math problems that looked like that. He took the time to
break it down and I learned for the first time how to solve it. He told me
something that completely shocked me. He said, Rene you are so smart. You
catch on fast. Those words made me cry. He asked, why I was crying. I told
him a little about my background. From that day on, I went to the CLE every
day to tutor. I was taking 5 classes, but I manage to spend over 110 hours
in tutoring that semester. Every day that I went to tutoring, I slowly
started to realize that everything I was told in my past; was wrong.

My first semester another class I was taking was Supervision with Rosemond
Moore. The first week of class Mrs. Moore asked each of us to schedule a
time to meet with her one on one. I scheduled an appointment with her.
During that first week, I was so impressed and inspired by Mrs. Moore. I
never met anyone like her. I remember thinking; I wish I had a role model
like her when I was younger. In class, I would participate as much as I
could. The day of my appointment with Mrs. Moore, I was surprised once
again. She told me I was very sharp. She saw so much potential in me. I
couldn’t believe everything she was expressing to me. How could others see
something in me that I myself could see? Mrs. Moore let me know that if I
needed any help with anything, her door would always be open. I took her up
on that offer. The more time I spent with Mrs. Moore, I opened up and let
her know about my life and my struggles. Mrs. Moore would listen to me and
always provide words of encouragement and inspiration for the future. She
became my mentor.

Cynthia Sanchez was another mentor to me. She always gave me encouragement
and helped me with strategic ways to study and learn.

Mr. Daniel Montez is another person who always guided me and helped me.
Anytime I was not sure of the direction I should go, I knew I could always
count on Mr. Montez.

As I am writing this letter, tears are rolling down my face. These tears are
tears of happiness. Without Johnny Resendez, Rosemond Moore, Cynthia
Sanchez, Daniel Montez and the staff at the CLE I would not have
accomplished graduating with my AAS in Business Administration Management. I
also graduated with honors.  (Kappa Beta Delta) I never thought I would be
going to college and I definitely never thought I would graduate.

When I arrived at South Texas College, I was unsure of myself and didn¹t
think I was intelligent enough to be there. South Texas College has equipped
me with confidence and the tools I need to create a better future for my
family and I. South Texas College has forever changed my life. I am so
grateful. I wanted to share this with you, because I want South Texas
College to know the impact these wonderful people have made in my life. They
gave me hope, confidence and taught me that anything is possible if you
really want it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Rene Hanna

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