Stories of Strength & Resilience | Irene Montes

Irene Montes
Yuma, AZ

Irene is a preschool teacher at Chicanos Por La Causa Yuma Head Start Center in Yuma, AZ. She is currently a First Things First College Scholarship recipient and attending Arizona Western College (AWC) for her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Read a message from Irene:

Hace un año y cuatro meses entre a trabajar a Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) como bus aide. Conforme pasaban los días disfrutaba más a los niños y sentí la necesidad de estar más tiempo con ellos y la única manera de hacerlo, es siendo maestra. A la edad de 54 años de edad decidí empezar a estudiar esta carrera, siento que ya no tengo la misma capacidad de retención como hace unos años atrás, esto hace que invierta mucho tiempo estudiando y haciendo tarea, aparte trabajo y hago horas de voluntaria, las cuales son requeridas por el programa. Mi esposo me apoya al cien porcientos y mis hijas están muy contentas que esté tomando estas clases. A mí, no me gusta tomar clases on line y debido a la pandemia tuve que tomarlas de esta manera porque no había opción.

Un mensaje que les diría a aquellos que estén interesados en ir a la universidad es que sigan adelante, que siempre se van a presentar obstáculos en el camino a la meta, pero si en verdad quieren llegar a ella, los tienen que vencer. El estudiar una carrera cuesta mucho sacrificio, pero al final obtienes un titulo con el cual garantizas tu futuro.

Irene’s message was sent to us in Spanish and has been translated to allow others the opportunity to read her beautiful story of resilience. English translation:

A year and four months ago, I started working for Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) as a bus aide. As the days passed, I enjoyed the children more and felt the need to spend more time with them and the only way to do it is to be a teacher. At the age of 54, I decided to start studying this degree. I feel that I no longer have the same retention capacity as a few years ago. This makes me spend a lot of time studying and doing homework, apart from work and volunteer hours, which are required by the program. My husband supports me one hundred percent and my daughters are very happy that I am taking these classes. I don’t like taking classes online but due to the pandemic, I had to take them this way because there was no option.

A message I would tell others that are interested in going to college is to keep going. There will always be obstacles on the way to the goal, but if you really want to reach it, you have to overcome them. Studying a career takes a lot of sacrifice, but in the end you get a degree, which will  guarantee your future.

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