At the March Kateri Tekakwitha Fund scholarship meeting, Juana Cun, 2009 graduate and Candelaria Sut, 2010 graduate shared their work experience.
Juana advised the students to have a goal and be persistent-not give up until they reach it. It is necessary to organize your time and put other things aside in order to succeed. As a wife and mother, she has many responsibilities, but she finds a way to fulfill her obligations to both, even though she often must stay up late to accomplish all her work. She has found it worth the effort. One thing that has motiviated her is that she discovered that with more academic training she was able to command a higher salary. She might do the same work without the degree, but she was paid less. She felt they would not regret the time they devoted to their studies.
Candelaria told them that the most important thing was not to be afraid of new things or undervalue yourself. She had found that everything is possible, but it oftens takes sacrifice and hard work. Her greatest day was when she received her first salary. She never had that experience. Before she finished her studies, she had worked as a domestic. In that situation, she never was free. She received a small salary, but was mainly paid with room and board. It is not the same as having your own salary and making your own decisions about how to use it.
The students has many opinions about the presentations. Sandra Lopez, Blanca Surec, Reina Cuxil, Aura Curruchiche, and Paula Cali said that the two former Kateri scholars were examples that helped them understand that you can accomplish all that you propose for yourself. Adela Surec took away the idea that to get started you need to take whatever job is offered even if it is not what you have studied and with some work experience you can find a job in your career. Silvia saw that these two women had a positive outlook and were not afraid of new things. They had struggled to accomplish what they wanted. Glenda Tum and Clara Ecomac received advise on how to keep a job- to be punctual, responsible, and disciplined. Marilena Patzan was encouraged to move forward in her studies and to organize and use her time well. All of the students felt that the life lessons of Juana and Candelaria were helpful for them as they struggled with their studies and obstacles to meeting their goals.
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