By: Solange M. González
A 4.00 grade point average in Chemical Engineering? Yes, she is a person who can achieve it. Community Service? She participates in those activities. Sports? Definitely, winner of several tournaments. This amazing person Tania Lee Class.
Tania grew up in an environment surrounded by friends whose greatest inspiration was the view of Morovis’s countryside surroundings. Her skin sunburned by the field’s sun shows the hard work she has done during her life with her loved ones and the community. Also, her chocolate toned eyes show her concern for others and her well formed legs show her years in sports.
At 19, she recalls years that since childhood her parents instilled in her respect for others and the meaning of charity, “At home it never mattered who dropped by, we always offered them food even if it was already served,” Tania said.
She spent her primary school years in a rural area populated by humble people. They always helped each other: if someone did not have a snack, they shared it and if a child did not have enough materials, they equally cooperated with him or her. Smiling, she recalls that when disasters occurred either in Puerto Rico or in neighboring countries, goods to the affected community were collected. Tania claims that she always had good teachers at school and her education contributed to her development as a person.
“My greatest achievement in life is to have gotten to where I am, fulfilling my academic goals and contributing to society through my community service. I always thought that being intelligent is not worth it if you do not contribute to social goods, ” Tania said.
She is the eldest of three sisters who always caries for her sisters. “In the summers I always get up first to make them breakfast because they love when I make scrambled eggs and toast to them. In many other cases, instead of calling mom to do with hers the homework they call me” she said.
This young entrepreneur has not only conformed with helping her family. She also has participated in several programs of community service. When Tania was in high school, she was commissioned to be the captain of the 3740 Chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) participating in Relay for Life. Covered in tears remember: “participating in Relay For Life was an extraordinary experience. My grandmother died of cancer and I found rewarding the opportunity to save the lives of people with this disease. My family suffered much loss and took this opportunity to avoid the suffering of other families. ”
Tania believes that the problems in Puerto Rican society begin at home. Thus, to correct them, the society must begin with changes at home. As she looked around, she reflected that the Puerto Rican society has become intolerant an unsympathetic to others. That is the first point that needs modification; therefore she believes that community service, no matter what kind, is so important.
In addition, Tania believes that sports play an important role in society. She has player volleyball since she was 7 years. She considers sports more than a physical activity, they teach the value of teamwork and mutual support. Gesturing with her hand like if she was on the court said, the young sportsman said, “while many see only a ball from side to side, it actually symbolizes more behind. Sport teaches discipline, fellowships, leadership and compassion. In a team we help each other: if you do not have knee protectors other provides you one. You forgot your shirt? It does not matter I have one extra”. It were those simple things that gradually taught her to help others.
Anyone can notice that it must be a bit complicated to organize so many things at once. As we spoke on about that theme she took a break to organize her ideas and grinned, “sometimes I think the same and I wonder how I can manage so much.” She says it is all about organization and sacrifice. “Sometimes you do not sleep much and others you go out but party less. It’s a matter of setting priorities and reorganing what is more important in your life.” She remembers that her friends from middle school went out to the movies and parties and invited her but she could not attend them. Most of the times she had a game, a meeting or another commitment with the community. “Sometimes I get angry but Mom always said that in a future I would notice its benefits. To this day I do not regret the sacrifices made because I have seen the results, “said Tania.
She completes all her arduous study weeks at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez and leaves to her town to help in the community with its cleaning and taking care of the elderly.
Gladys Martínez, her mother that has known Tania her entire life, describes her as an exemplary and flawless person, “It’s the best elder daughter anyone may have,” she laughs.
Moreover her boyfriend, Leonardo González says there can’t be other girlfriend like her. “She is a person with a heart so big that fits everyone in it,” said the young man.
That is the life of this young entrepreneur who has become a great example for children, youth and adults. Furthermore, it is an honor for me to write about her because I know her for years and more than a friend I consider her my sister.