Pursuing his Dream : Ale

Pursuing his Dream : Ale

By:  Guillermo Gumieny

It’s 4 p.m. on what most would consider a regular Friday afternoon in downtown Mayagüez.  Traffic, people anxiously waiting to get out of work, students being picked up by their parents, others wondering around God knows where.

A boy is on his way to the building where his father works with nothing but his book bag and his little sister by his side.  It’s been a tiring day for the young boy and a long walk to his father’s workplace to end the day doesn’t make it any easier.

“Ale I’m tired of walking, can’t we just hangout around school for a while” says his little sister.

“Bianca you know Papá gets out of work at 4:30 p.m. it wouldn’t be fair to keep him waiting, anyway you shouldn’t be wondering off after school” said Ale.

Bianca shakes her head in disagreement but deep down agrees with his older brother.  Schools and kids today are far more reckless than a couple of years ago.

Alejandro Carlo “Ale” is a white, buzzed haired kid at the time was 5 feet 6 inches tall and pretty skinny.  A bright mind, huge potential, but in a school that frankly didn’t give him the opportunity to exceed his expectations.

“The school I attended, pretty much all my life until the ninth grade, the Presbyterian high school in Mayagüez didn’t challenge me enough” Ale said. “Teachers didn’t care for our education, neither did we (the students)… I had all A’s but was I actually learning and enriching my life with knowledge?”

“No.”

Ale had been attending the Presbyterian institute since his early years and though it was a private school, the education methods were mediocre.  Teachers would sometimes be absent for many days and students would be allowed to do whatever they pleased.

“It was all fun and laughs at first but I guess I was the first one on my class to notice the damage that was being done to us, the students”

Ale’s parents worked in the town of Mayagüez, his father as an accountant and his mother at a bank that at the time seemed to be pretty stable, Westernbank.  Westernbank suddenly announced that they were going to be selling everything they owned to Popular bank and that meant problems for Ale’s family.  Ale’s mother lost her job and his father took charge of the family as the only primary source for money.

“It was unexpected, and I felt bad for my mami.  I knew this wasn’t going to be easy for all of us, being a family of four.”

Ale felt deep in his heart that he had to help his family in any way that he could.  Soon enough he found a perfect way to help his family’s economic situation by also helping his own education.  Ale came across with CROEM (“Centro Residencial de Oportunidades Educativas de Mayagüez”).  CROEM was a public highschool that specialized in math and science which are Ale’s favorite subjects and by being a public school his parents wouldn’t have to worry about paying for his education and would have more room to work with.

“As soon as I found out about CROEM I knew this was my chance to change my life for the better, it was all I had ever dreamed of, I could finally take my education seriously and be surrounded with people with the same interests as me.”

Alejandro, at the right, in his high school graduation in CROEM.  He would then be accepted in the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez where he is now pursuing his baccalaureate on Physics.

Alejandro, at the right, in his high school graduation in CROEM. He would then be accepted in the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez where he is now pursuing his baccalaureate on Physics.

Ale was accepted in CROEM in tenth grade and studied two years there because he decided to skip his senior year and go straight to college.  After graduation he requested to form part of the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez where he is now in his second year pursuing his baccalaureate on Physics.  He has already been part of summer COOP’s in Europe where he has worked rigorously doing what he loves.

“I never thought I’d get the opportunities I’ve had these last couple of years, I am really blessed and thankful for everything I have and all the accomplishments that have come along the way”

“Sometimes in life one has to do things on your own, you can’t wait on life to just change miraculously, if you want to change something in your life find a way, move and do everything you can, don’t count on destiny to work on your favor cause it may leave you hanging for a while…

Make it happen.”

 

Alejandro Carlo (left side) in Switzerland.  One of many fascinating places he had the opportunity to visit while working on his COOP in the summer of 2012.

Alejandro Carlo (left side) in Switzerland. One of many fascinating places he had the opportunity to visit while working on his COOP in the summer of 2012.

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