Life in the fields drives Valley Scholars student to a better life
Student of the Week: Antonio Perez
Since the age of eight, Antonio Perez recalls summers working in the fields in Michigan with his family.
As a migrant student, Antonio said the long days of hard work shaped his ambition to one day educate similar students, and let them know that there is life outside of the fields.
“Because of the way I was raised, I saw how important it was to receive an education rather than just work in the fields,” Antonio said. “Working in the fields taught me that things aren’t just handed to you. It’s better to take things seriously and get them done at an early age.”
Originally from San Juan, Antonio began as a dual student in high school. Entering STC as a Valley Scholars Student in the fall of 2018, he has since been elected president of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for fall 2019.
Slated to graduate in May 2020, he plans to enter a career in elementary education.
“You see the kids out there in the fields, and they don’t know anything else but the fields because their parents and siblings didn’t go to college,” Antonio said. “Since many of them haven’t been exposed to what we have here in the Valley like early college, they believe that working in the fields is all they have.
“Because of the way I was raised, I saw how important it was to receive an education rather than just work in the fields. Working in the fields taught me that things aren’t just handed to you. It’s better to take things seriously and get them done at an early age.”
“In a way, I felt I was guided towards elementary education because if I can let those other migrants know that there is more than what they have, then maybe I can help someone to a better life,” he said.
South Texas College offers an Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) that introduces students to the teaching profession. Students may choose between Elementary, Middle School, and High School Education curricula tracks. All three degrees require a minimum of 60 credit hours of coursework including 42 credit hours of recommended courses from the core curriculum and a minimum of 18 credit hours in the field of study.
Students are introduced to the philosophies and practical knowledge of teaching, and are given the opportunity to participate in field observations of classrooms in local public school districts.
“I felt South Texas College was a perfect option to choose because the tuition is a good price for me,” he said. “For other migrants, I would tell them that the best way to help out their families isn’t by working 12 hours every day, you can help them by finding a career and enrolling in a university or college.
“Receiving an education is better than working in the fields,” Antonio said.