Amazing Teacher Gives Back to the Community that Raised Him

Amazing Teacher Gives Back to the Community that Raised Him


The first time I set foot in this arena
was twelve years ago as an 8th grader on a spring break trip to D.C. That trip
there we’re a lot of firsts – my first time in a professional basketball game, the
first time many of my classmates and I travel outside of South Texas, and the
first time I understood the power of education. My name is Julio Garcia and I’m from Roma, Texas in Rio Grande Valley. My dad emigrated from Mexico and never got to finish college. My mom worked as a nurse’s aide at my elementary school but
never had the resources to fulfil her dream of becoming a registered nurse. We didn’t have much money but they worked really hard for me and my brothers. My
teachers could have set low expectations for me. Lucky for me they didn’t. It’s the first day of eigth grade with Mr Deman a TFA corps member. He’s wearing the suit with brightest tie of the American flag that I’d ever seen. [Speaking Spanish], my friends and I joke. As we walk to homeroom he starts yelling, “OTB OTB. Way to be OTB. Awesome line. Looking great.”
When we get to the classroom I asked him what OTB means, and he replies so eagerly,
“it means on the ball, every time you do well I’ll say OTB!” I’m thinking, great it
doesn’t end here… but Mr.Deman’s history class turns out to be unlike any other
we’ve had before. His passion for United States history is contagious and he
helps me see that school is more than just something to do. It’s a way into my
future. Flash forward to junior year is just percent another TFA corps member
pulled me aside and says you belong in my best English class I think to myself
no way I’m is a insists I make a deal with her put me in my girlfriends class
that’s the only way I’ll do it newsday eventually agrees the advanced
classes stuff but Ms J works with me and pushed me in a span of a couple of
months I see my own ability to write drastically improve and how far that can
actually taking in my life around this time my parents are working second jobs
and on the elders at home trying to hold it together for me and my brothers my
geometry teacher mr. godson and his wife mrs. leos also a teacher in high school step in to help they become like family senior year when it’s time to apply to
college they helped me and so many of the students through the whole process
applying for scholarships filling out FAFSA forms working out our personal
essays I end up getting a full scholarship to V Ohio State University
but I have to leave my family my girlfriend my friends everything I know
to be the first in my family to graduate from college the transition from a social majority
enrollment to a two percent minority at OSU’s shocking I miss home the winter is
brutal when I get an email to my grades are posted online I quickly walked on my
heart sings 1.4 that’s my GPA and place a probationary status my scholarship I
think to myself I have one more chance to get this done but want to take that
chance I call my girlfriend Lisa and tell her I’m gonna transfer back home to
the University of texas-pan American how you go pay for its yes o no figured out
no you can’t see folks on the bigger picture I’m torn I have no teacher that
can give me advice and pushing forward i cant talk to my mom or dad were a few
thousand miles away and that’s when it dawns on me this is what big all of them
Mr Tooman miss just percent mister that submissively and my parents prepared for
everything that I had learned in Roma was meant for this moment I have to
graduate a book I in no way no how by senior year I’m on track to graduate
as I prepared to enter the real world I wonder if I could ever find a way to pay
it forward to my parents my teachers I attended career fair on campus and see a
Teach for America booth mr demanding his gesture soon they were keeping teachers
right I don’t know much about it so I approached the booth the TSA Rakuten I
talked for awhile I leave the career fair thinking I want to go back home and
give the same opportunities that I got to the students and Roma after Institute I returned to the valley
as a 2013 TFA corps member mister now a principal help me get hired
at the meeting but at a middle school enrollment has a history teacher i
remember i reset my girlfriend from math class who helped me get the college
she’s not my wife I’m in my third year of teaching now I
look at my students and I see my classmates my friends my brothers my
cousins I see the future of Roma I love seeing my students faces when they
realize they’ve accomplished something after many times trying wetherbee
passing an exam for finally making the tackle during a football game I love
getting to know them as people my teachers gave me every reason to enter
the classroom but my students are what keep me there I walked into this arena
as an 8th grade on a trip with mister demand American history class I was
still trying to figure out what I wanted in life tonight I walked in here with
this earlier this year student asked me why I came back to Roma even know how
there’s so much more to do I told him I came back because I wanted to teach
kids from Roma and I wanted to have an impact on them and see them succeed in
life we all started laughing and looking at me like I was crazy then I remember
when I was in middle school sitting on the desk in my history class looking up
at a teacher who told us he cared about this and us just laughing at him I
realized that he wasn’t crazy he really did care about it now I can’t wait for
the day that my students realize that too

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