(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College student Sheila Guajardo is no stranger to overcoming adversity.
She expects to complete her Associate of Applied Science degree in Education and Training this December.
Deciding which program to study was an easy choice for Guajardo, who was already familiar with the world of learning.
“I have substituted and worked in early child care centers in the past,” she said. “Teaching has always been involved in my life since I was a child. My mom was a teacher, so it wasn’t a surprise for me to naturally want to be in this field.”
The road to completing her education has not been easy. Guajardo faced personal struggles on her way to obtaining a degree that could have easily ended her time in school. In 2016, she suffered a stroke that made her pause her studies.
“When I had a stroke, it took me out of everything for about a year or two,” she said. “When I was back to myself, I said that I would finish school, no matter what. It was difficult with some changes and difficulties that stayed with me after my stroke.”
Guajardo said that with help from her husband and the resources available to her at TSTC, she made it through every challenge.
“My husband went from supporting me in the hospital to supporting me in school,” she said. “He never let me feel like I could not accomplish what I set out to do, no matter how difficult. TSTC’s Access and Learning Accommodations also made sure that I had everything I needed in order to be successful.”
One of Guajardo’s Education and Training instructors, Myriam Aguila, knows that Guajardo is more than ready to start a career as an educator.
“I would like to congratulate Sheila not only for this achievement, but also for the hard work and dedication that she put throughout each assignment, project, lesson and participation in all her Education and Training classes,” she said. “She has the commitment, enthusiasm and passion for what she does and what she believes in. It gives me peace of mind knowing that our young learners are in the best hands.”
Guajardo was not only learning more academically through her time at TSTC, she was also learning more about herself.
“The biggest thing I can take away from my experience in college is knowing that I can do what I set my mind to do,” she said. “I can’t even count how many times I’ve cried, saying that things were too much and that I could not handle it anymore. Now I know that I have been there before, I accomplished what I set out to and I can do it again.”
To learn more about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.