“One week after arriving in the US, fleeing a dangerous situation in my beloved homeland of Honduras, I started as a terrified 7th grader at my zoned school, Cameron College Prep (what is today called LEAD Cameron). I remember being frightened because I didn’t even know how to say hello in English. Everything was new. The first weeks were difficult. I would sit in class all day, straining to understand little bits and pieces. But from the get-go, it was apparent that the staff truly cared about me.
Looking back, I feel incredibly fortunate to have landed in such a supportive, equipped middle school like Cameron. Not only did that provide me with English skills and teachers that wrapped around me with support, but it set me on the trajectory to go to LEAD Academy High School, which set me up to go to college and be successful.
I made sure I gave my best in every class and pushed myself in order to learn more English because I really wanted to have a better education since no one else in my family has had the opportunities that I have had.
Thanks to amazing teachers such as Ms. Roe, Ms. Carroll, Ms. Christensen, and Mr. Frasca who made sure I never gave up and supported me on my journey. With the help and encouragement from people at LEAD, I applied for and was awarded a full scholarship through Equal Chance for Education. Now I am currently studying Social Justice with a minor in Nonprofit Management at Trevecca Nazarene University. With the help of God, I will graduate next May 2023, which is really exciting. Never in my life would I have thought of being able to go to college in the United States.
I am privileged by having the opportunity to gain a better education, although I was able to get where I am today thanks to my hard work, I could have never been able to achieve anything if it wasn’t for the amazing teachers God placed in my path when I enrolled at Cameron as that shy little 12 year old.”
Gisselly Mazariegos Lopez
Junior at Trevecca Nazarene University
LEAD Cameron Former Student, LEAD Academy 2019 Graduate
LEAD After-School Tutor supporting Newcomer Students