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Living the Dream

Our new Apollo Coordinator, Mrs. Michelle Smith was asked to share a story on the importance of going to college.  It was refreshing to read what she wrote!  Below the photo of Mrs. Smith and some of her students in our Apollo program is the story she shared with us.

Mrs. Michelle Smith and Apollo Students


Living the Dream

I wanted to be so many things when I was younger.  I dreamed about being a flight attendant when I was nine even though I was never on an airplane.  I also wanted to be the first girl firefighter or a veterinarian because I loved my dog so much. But I always seemed to play school with my friends, siblings, dog, and by myself.  I would “play” the teacher that always made my “class” listen to me read, or do spelling or grammar lessons.   I would not be the person I am today if I did not to college to undergo my desire to become a teacher. I never felt pressured by my parents to continue my education after high school because my they did not complete college. The only influences I had to continue with school were from my older sister who attended a four year university and my high school counselor.

I am the third of four children born into a middle class family.  My mom worked as a bank teller before getting married and having children and then was a stay at home mom.  My dad attended a community college to pursue his dream of playing baseball, but that all came to a quick end after of year when he dropped out of school to start a family. He drove a delivery truck for Wonder Bread before he became a broker for a family owned real estate company.  Postsecondary education was not a priority to my parents.  I knew I should probably attend college because my older brother who didn’t continue his education after high school struggled to support his wife and family. I did watch my older sister, whom I look up to; thrive in her career because she did attend a university. I also heard all of my friends in high school talking about where they were going to apply.

Deciding where I wanted to go to school became a top priority for me.  I had to decide if I wanted to stay at home or go away.  There are advantages to both.  If I commuted to and from school I would be able to save money.  If I went away I would have a greater experience of the campus life.  I chose to live at home and travel back and forth to DePaul University.  To this day I wish I would have gone away to school in order to have more opportunities to better myself as an individual.

If I did not attend college I would not have the career and passion for learning that I have today.  I might have had to struggle to keep dead end jobs in a poor economy.  Now I am able to be a role model to others who want to live out their dreams.  As an educator, I am able to encourage students to continue their education after high school in order to provide a better way of life for their family and become an example for others.

It is never too late to live out the dreams you set for yourself when you were younger.