From struggling student to inspiration
Raquel credits her migrant counselor, Nora Gonzalez, as the most influential educator in her pursuit to graduate high school and seek higher education.
Because she divided the school year between Michigan and Texas, Raquel struggled to connect with her teachers and faced inconsistencies in curriculum and standards from one state to the other. Nora helped her navigate these and other challenges and encouraged Raquel to apply for college.
After Raquel graduated high school in 2013, the two lost touch. When Nora heard that Raquel plans to graduate in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in bilingual education from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, she was overcome with pride.
The two recently had an opportunity to reconnect when Nora surprised Raquel on the UT Rio Grande Valley campus.
Nora is thrilled Raquel plans to become an educator and is inspired by all she has overcome. “I think she’s going to be fantastic with the students and she’s going to be a great encourager, and give them a lot of hope.”
“I am so, so proud of her. There are very few students that I’ve encountered from that background that have actually gotten as far as she has … she’s defying the odds.”
Nora and Raquel reunite for the first time in five years. Both are humbled by the impact the other has had on their life.