Maria Escobar is one of the Student Advocates at Greeley Central High School. She is working with our students full-time while completing her bachelor's degree at the University of Northern Colorado (also full-time!). She wrote this reflection for a class; it seemed fitting to share here.
1. You are smart.
Sometime during your educational journey, someone told you that you would not amount to anything. I am here to tell you that’s not true. They were wrong. You are smarter than you think. When you put your mind to something, the sky's the limit. There is nothing more satisfying than proving someone wrong.
2. It’s okay to show your emotions.
It’s normal to have feelings. Stop bottling them in. Girls have feelings. Boys have feelings. We are all human. If you feel uncomfortable showing them to the outside world, that’s what I’m here for. Remember that time you came to me crying? Remember how long you had been holding that in? Remember the relief you felt afterwards? Our relationship grew. Emotions are not a sign of weakness, but instead a sign of strength. Teach your son that it’s okay to express himself. Break the tradition.
3. Your past does not define you.
You have made mistakes. We all have, trust me. So you’ve gotten into some trouble, gave your parents a few heart attacks, and maybe even lost their trust along the way. The good thing about trust is that it can be earned again. It will not be easy but you can do it. Probation does not last forever. Those friends who let you take the blame do not have your best interest in mind. You are in charge of your future. So shake it off. You have the rest of your life ahead of you.. Along the way, I’ll get to know the judges and probation officers pretty well. If something happens and you slip, I will be there by your side in the courtroom to advocate for you. Because I know you. The you that most people don’t get the privilege of knowing. The real you.
4. High school does not last forever.
That girl is crazy to have broken up with you. Friends will come and go. “Fitting in” is not all that it’s made out to be. That rumor that was started about you will blow over. The game you lost will help shape your character. So focus on you. Try to get your homework done a day before it’s due instead of waiting till the class period before. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Check in with your teachers. Think about your future. Talk to your counselor. We are all here to help you become the best version of you.
5. You are important to me.
I can’t help but smile when you come bursting into the office to show me your grade on a test or project. Seeing your eyes light up when you show me the video of your baby’s heartbeat brings me to tears. When you come in just to say hi or give me hug, it makes me feel loved. I am so proud of you.Sure, you have gave me some wrinkles and a good amount of grey hairs, but I wouldn’t trade you for the world. You have helped me grow, and for that, I am forever thankful. You will always be a special part of me. I will carry you with me in my heart everywhere I go.