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Winning Essays 2013 > Theodore


Winning Essay: Theodore Prendez

Why I want to earn a degree from Northwest Vista College - To accomplish more: 

Student-Ted-MediumMy story begins right here in the heart of South Central Texas, in the beautiful city that we know as San Antonio. I come from a very poor family of four brothers and my mom. As growing up I was the oldest in the house, so my younger brothers looked up to me for guidance because we did not have a father. I had a step dad but I did not consider him that because he did not really teach us anything other than what not to do. Growing up I was very poor, in fact most of my childhood life I was homeless, living in shelters, motels, anywhere we could possibly stay at the time. I had transitioned through many different elementaries like a nomad moving from place to place. There was a lot of uncertainty as what else is next in life at least it seemed. I remember at the age of five years old my father took me into a house and I watched him shoot a needle into his arm not knowing what he was doing until later I realized that was a drug. I also watched my mother get beaten by my step father at the age of eight not being able to do anything about it either. I also remember being in an apartment we lived in at the time with no electricity or water in the heat of the summer. That was almost unbearable. It felt like it was much hotter inside than it was outside which it probably was. Still I did not know why we were living like this. At age twelve I got involved with drugs in middle school. I started experimenting with marijuana, then in high school I started to sell marijuana and get into other drugs as well. I went to Brackenridge high school from 1999 to 2003 graduated Honors and went on to Texas A&M University College Station. In high school, I took a stand that I was not going to move to any other school no matter how many times my family moved. I started working at age fifteen in the hospitality industry. So, I was going to high school, working full time, and playing sports, and still able to maintain honors the whole time. Some people must have thought I was crazy or something. How could a kid at that age balance everything? I went on to college with the same mentality as high school. The one thing that got me in trouble was that I got busted for possession of marijuana. I was devastated. How was I going to tell my mom? I then served probation and went to the military a couple years after that in 2008. I served in the United States Navy and traveled the world seeing places people only dreamed of. I recently separated after almost five years of honorable service this past year. I tell my story and where I came from because I feel it is important in how it shaped my life until now. I could have used everything I endured as an excuse not to amount to anything, but I let it be fuel to my fire on why I wanted to accomplish more in my life. I truly believe that everything I have gone through in my life up until this point was for a reason to mold me and give me the power to achieve my destiny for greatness. See, my parents always have told us to stay in school and get your education. Champions have discipline and persistence to get through anything. In order, for me to accomplish everything I have ever wanted in life I needed to take massive action. There is no room for excuses if I want to accomplish more than my wildest dreams. I am here today to spread the message of hope and that anyone can accomplish anything in their life if they really want it bad enough. I leave you with this: You are only as big as the dreams that you dare to live.