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Lessons from IDEA Toros Prepare Charter School Graduate for Future

Lessons from IDEA Toros Prepare Charter School Graduate for Future

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Victor Medellin - IDEA Toros

This is a speech by Victor Medellin, a 2018 IDEA Toros Graduate. Victor will be attending West Virginia Wesleyan University in the fall.

I discovered that three alarms is the magic number for me to wake up and make it on time to morning soccer practice. I jump out of bed, and make sure my ride remembers to pick me up on my way to the field, because I don’t have a car. I’ve actually been living without my family since I was twelve years old. On my way out of my camper, I make sure all lights and the air conditioning unit are off, in order to save money from the electricity bill.

My day is a roller coaster. First, it’s practice, then classes. During lunch, I eat quickly while doing my homework. I have to keep up my 4.0 GPA. The school day passes full of research and note-taking until the clock hits 3:30 p.m. Then comes my second favorite time of the day, the afternoon practice. I head home to change, and before heading out the door, I take out whatever protein I’m going to cook for dinner to defrost.

My teammate picks me up, and then it’s practice number two. We start the practice with dry shirts, which turn completely wet at the end of it. The practice lasts around two hours. When I get home at 6:30 p.m., drained of energy, I know that I still have a lot of things to do. Most days, the amount of homework and college tasks I have to accomplish takes me two hours. 9 p.m. becomes the perfect time to cook my dinner. I have learned to cook many dishes myself, from eggs all the way to marinated meats. I’ve really become a good chef! My favorite recipe is the lemon chicken. You really gotta make sure you put the right amount of oregano to get that extra flavor. By the time I finish cooking, eating, and washing dishes, it’s almost midnight. My day is barely ending but the next day has already started.

My weekends are just as busy. Saturdays are always soccer games and refereeing days. We usually play in the morning, giving us the whole afternoon “free”. While my teammates are enjoying their afternoon, I work as a referee to make money for the house bills and to try and save for college. I start around 10 a.m. and finish working around 6 p.m. Sundays are a little different for me. Sundays are for yard work, sweeping, and mopping the camper where I live. By the time I finish cleaning, it's already 4 p.m. I then start doing my dual credit class homework, as well as working to obtain my high school diploma from Mexico online.

Unless when my parents visit me from Mexico, which happens once or twice a month. We have to live apart because they are not U.S. citizens. I am here on a visa because I want to get an education and go to college in America. I’ve been doing this since I was 12 years old.

I really cherish these few Sundays with my mom and dad. We eat breakfast together, go to church, buy groceries, and finally have a nice dinner. A lot of my peers take this for granted, but these days are everything for me. I look forward to them each month.

And then, it starts again on Monday morning. IDEA has helped me separate things that are important and things that aren’t. Being here has changed my culture, and my work ethic. I have learned that in life there are no excuses for anything. I may face obstacles, but I don’t care. I am going to go to college as a student-athlete, get a degree, and make my family proud.

Victor, 4th from the right, with his teammates. 

This blog is a part of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools' month long celebration of #CharterGrads.

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