“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.”
The reason I chose this quote is because I had a habit of setting barriers for myself. For example, when it was time to apply to universities, I decided not to. I was scared I wouldn’t get into a university and I thought I would never get accepted. As time went on, I felt motivated to apply to a university. My first choice was a university in Portland. I also applied to Montana State University and Pacific Union College. Both Montana State and Pacific Union accepted me but Portland rejected me. When I got the rejection email I felt incredibly sad. It was my first choice and they didn’t want me. I decided to end up going to Cabrillo and staying close to home. Although it’s only been 4 years since I started my freshman year of high school, I’ve changed in many ways. When I was a freshman, I wasn’t a “good kid”. I would get in trouble at school and outside of school. I wouldn’t think about the consequences of my actions and how they’d affect the people around me. I was going through a lot and didn’t handle it as well as I should have. I was a freshman at Ceiba College Prep and I had been going there since I was a 6th grader. 9th grade was the year after I came out and was bullied for it. That made me the way I was. I was reacting to it in a way that I thought people wouldn’t mess with me if I was just mean all the time. I was also reacting to my parents getting divorced. I didn’t know how to deal with everything at once and my parents would put me in the middle of their divorce since I was the one who fully understood what was happening. This was a lot for me to handle. I felt like I didn't have anyone who knew what it was like. Because of this, I would shut people out. Instead of trying to communicate what it felt like, I decided to get mad at my parents and “rebel”. My biggest cheerleaders throughout this journey were my grandparents and my best friend. They were there for a lot of this and knew I needed somebody by my side because it felt like I didn’t have anyone. When I didn’t have any rides to school, they’d go out of their way and take me to school even if it meant they had to wake up earlier. When my parents couldn’t decided on who was taking me to school and would argue about it and make me late, I would call my best friend and she’d come all the way from Aromas to pick me up and take me to school. My grandparents gave me a place to stay when I didn’t want to go home. I’m extremely thankful for my grandparents and my best friend because I know I couldn't have done it without their help and support. My academic journey was different from my mom’s and my grandma’s because they didn’t get to start high school. They didn’t even finish middle school because they had to stop getting an education to help their parents pay for things they needed. My grandma started working in the fields and would give her parents all the money she would make so they could use it to pay for things for her and her siblings. My mom was working two jobs by the time she was 13 years old and would still come home from work and help her dad at his ranch. My mom and grandma are two hard working women who inspire me and motivate me to get a good education. They want me to get the education they couldn’t so I don’t have to struggle as much as they did. I believe that I should graduate and that I would succeed post DTI because I have learned from mistakes that I made my sophomore year, I have met all the graduation requirements, and because I believe I’m ready to apply what I’ve learned in DTI to college. I have become a self directed learner who communicates effectively by communicating with my teammates when we were preparing for the business presentation and when we were presenting. We communicated about everything so we would all agree on our presentation and our product. We communicated about who would read which slides and what we would answer to questions the judges asked. One thing that I experienced this year in the DTI community that changed me as a communicator was the Nisene Marks photoshoot and the double exposure project. I learned to communicate with my models more and with my teachers when it came to the requirements of the project. I learned I needed to talk with my models more about how I would like them to dress and pose for the photoshoots. I’ve gotten better at presenting/public speaking now. Before I would get really nervous before to the point where I would feel sick to my stomach but now I’m more calm about it and don’t get nearly as nervous as I used to. For the business presentation I wasn’t nervous at all. I didn’t know all of my slides but I was mentally prepared to present. DTI has prepared me for the future because they helped me with my 10 year plan. I learned about the cost of cars, car insurance, rent, groceries, bills, etc. My 10 year plan helped me plan out how much I would be spending per week, month, and year and if my salary would cover my expenses. My increased skills in communication and being a self directed learner will help me with my future because I won’t be panicking if I need to present something in college and because I now know how to communicate with my instructors if I don’t understand something. I’ll apply this to my career because it’ll be easier for me to talk to patients and patients’ families in certain situations. Also because I’ll be able to communicate with my bosses and coworkers more effectively to do a better job. I think future orientation, flexibility and adaptability are the more important because I have to be flexible and adaptable in my career and I also have to be very future oriented with the patients. I try being flexible and adapt to changes in school like with the Weebly portfolio. In my career I would have to be flexible and adapt to my patients because they’d all have different needs and different views on what they’d like. I would also have to be future oriented because I have to think about what would help a patient better in the long run not just for a short amount of time. I learned to work independently at school by working by myself on school projects. I learned how to work independently at work. When they put me as first speaker, I have to take orders, cash, and clean trays by myself. I learned to work collaboratively/successfully at both work and school as well. I work well with my coworkers in the kitchen or when taking orders and prepping the food. I work well with my classmates on school projects like the senior slideshow. Working well with others will support my future goals in college and career because I can communicate effectively to get something done quicker. Something I have become interested in was photography and video production. I’ve always been interested in photography but didn’t know much about it so my pictures wouldn’t come out as god. I also didn’t know about photoshop so the pictures I would take weren’t edited. I have become more interested in video production than digital media. I like editing videos and seeing the final product. There’s also more room for me to be creative. I grew in my skills of processing and presenting information using a variety of resources. In the fast food nation essay for Licata’s class, I needed 3 other sources besides the book. I researched to find interviews and articles about what I was writing about. I used multiple sources to showcase how slaughterhouse workers are treated and how safe it actually is to eat at fast food restaurants. Using my 10 year plan, I learned about budgets. I learned that in order to have the lifestyle I want, I need to make a certain amount of money. I will use what I learned about budgeting after highschool to save money and only buy things I need instead of things I want. I know more about how I would like my future to be and how to get there. People who didn’t go to DTI may have some knowledge but not as much since they didn’t set up a 10 year plan. I know about the kind of car I would like to have and how much the insurance for it costs. I also know about the kind of house I would like to live in and how much it would cost per month and per year to live there. I see myself using the technology skills I learned at Diamond Tech in college by using them to do research for essays or assignments. Also by using them to create slideshows for any presentations we might have in any classes and to research anything I may not understand in class. Although my attendance has always been pretty good, it hasn’t been as good my senior year. The reason for this is because sometimes I don’t have rides to school so I have to find my own ride which takes a while which eventually makes me late. I was part of a team that worked collaboratively and individually to achieve a common goal which was advancing with our business plan. We needed to create a product or service that would help solve a problem. We decided to create a dishwashing glove with a sponge on the fingertips and knuckles to make it easier to wash dishes. We ended up winning 1st place and winning a scholarship. I started demonstrating an acceptance of human individuality and diversity during my time at DTI. I realized how different the kids and staff were here compared to Ceiba. In Ceiba, the majority of people are Hispanic. Here, everyone’s different. It’s more diverse which I like because not everyone is similar. I learned to not be judgemental towards others and to be more open minded and accepting. The business plan made me realize how a lot of our classes are connected. We used skills we learned in math and in english when working on the business presentation. We also used skills we learned in video production when creating the commercial for the business presentation. This impacted my future because I learned about starting a business. I have enough knowledge to start my own business and I learned how I could advertise my product or service. My decision making changed during my time at DTI because I used to take risks but wouldn’t think about the outcomes. I still take risks but they’re more calculated risks where I think about the possible outcomes and how everything else will be affected. I have become a better problem solver because I now think of different ways to solve problems. I also always have a backup plan incase the first solution doesn’t work out. The biggest calculated risk I took as a learner was when I decided to stay in Watsonville and go to a community college instead of a university. This was a hard decision for me to make because I knew my dad would be disappointed since he really wanted me to go to a university. I’m happy with the choice I made because I wasn’t ready to leave and go far like to Montana State. I believe the economics class we had in the beginning of the year taught us real life skills. We learned how to do income statements and statement of owner’s equity and balance sheets. We learned a lot and it felt like such a huge accomplishment when all the numbers finally matched up in the end. In Freshman year one of my biggest struggles was coming out to my friends and family. I was scared they’d see me differently which was the case with some of my “friends”. I lost my friends when I came out and was bullied about it. My family was more accepting of it since they see it as a “phase”. This was hard for me to deal with because I was alone and was going through a lot at home and then I would go to school and be made fun of my sexuality or have rumors spread about me just to get a reaction from others. In sophomore year, my biggest struggle was moving schools. I underestimated how hard it would be to stay on track for E2020. I didn’t know anybody when I moved here besides someone that moved to this school with me. I was scared I wasn’t going to fit in or I wouldn’t have many friends or people wouldn’t like me. Even though it was a hard choice to make, moving schools was one of the best decisions I made. In junior year I struggled with finding a job. I kept getting pressured by my parents to find a job and I would apply to places but since I didn't have any prior work experience, it was harder for me to find a job. I had finally gotten a job working at Little Caesar’s when I was 16. I started in July so it was more of a summer job. After working at Little Caesar’s, it was easier for me to find other jobs since I had work experience. My biggest struggle of senior year was making up the credits I was missing and deciding where I wanted to continue my education after high school. I needed to make up credits I was missing for algebra since I had gotten an F one semester during my sophomore year. I overcame my biggest struggles by living with my grandparents. It made me grow as a human because I had to become more independent. I needed to start paying bills and become more responsible as a person. I also needed to start doing things for myself like finding my own rides to school or work by asking friends and family since my parents couldn’t always agree on who’d be taking me and they’d both end up not taking me to school. This made me become more responsible since I also have to help my grandparents because they can’t do a lot of things so I help them with whatever they need help with. In engineering we learned about coding. We use coding when we engraved a design into a piece of wood using the CNC machine. If one number or one thing is wrong it’s not going to work correctly. You have to be very exact and careful when it comes to coding because if not it won’t print out the design correctly. In agriscience, we learned about soil composition and the poultry industry. This is when I realized how unfairly and inhumane they treat not only the chickens but the workers in the poultry industry as well. In our business class, we learned how to start and run our own business. This class connected to a lot of our other classes and it was interesting seeing a little bit of my other classes in this class. In digital media and video production, we learned how to use premiere pro and photoshop to edit photos and videos. We also learned how to use a camera to record videos and take pictures. I believe the business class has become most instrumental on my post high school plan. I could use my knowledge and skills I learned to start up my own business either part time or full time. The career cruising matchmaker survey told me I should look into being something like a nurse practitioner and a special ed teacher. Realizing that I got a nurse practitioner as one of the results, it motivated me to pick being a registered nurse as my future career. My post high school career plan is to get a associates degree in nursing since it’s more flexible. I will most likely go back to school and further my education to get my bachelors degree or to become a nurse practitioner. I decided to start off with an associates degree because I’m still not sure about whether I want to become a registered nurse or a medical admin. I only took the ACT once and didn’t take the SAT. I scored higher than I thought I would. I got a 21 on my ACT. Two goals I hope and plan on achieving in the next 10 years is to get a car and get my own place to live. I also hope to decide on whether I would like to become a registered nurse or a medical admin. Three reasons that I believe I should graduate are that I have met all the graduation requirements, I have learned from the mistakes I made my sophomore year, and I am ready to apply all the skills I learned while being a student at Diamond tech. “You are confined only by the walls you build yourself”. I’m ready to allow myself to grow as a person and as a student. I am ready to further my education and not limit myself. After graduating Diamond tech, I will go to Cabrillo and graduate from there. I plan on later attending CSUMB when I would like to receive my bachelors degree.