PROGRAM — Tax Credit Scholarship

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning,” said Robert Kiyosaki. His quote to me speaks volumes. Fear is what drowns the soul and excitement is what nourishes it. I fear, everyone fears; be it failing at school, or work, not passing classes, or not getting that promotion you oh so want. I realized what one needed to acquire the drive to be successful and not fearful; determination, motivation, ambition and in my case a lot of music. These, to me, are the three most important elements to be successful in school, life, and anything you choose.

My name is Shawn Cuellar, and I am 18 years old. I am currently in 12th grade at La Progresiva Presbyterian School in Miami, Florida. I received a Step Up Scholarship in 2015 which allowed me to begin 9th grade at La Progresiva.  My mission now is to succeed!

I fear a couple of things like not passing my classes, not doing well in life, failing the grade and getting held back. I fear these because they have happened to me.  I did not pass my classes, therefore I failed a grade and got held back. I am not ashamed to admit that but thinking that this story, my story can be used as a platform to inspire kids to do better is heartwarming. Was I proud of failing? Nope. Who would be though? Did I screw myself over? Yes. Yes, I did.

“At the end of that meeting, they came to the conclusion of giving me a second chance. I cherished that.”

It was in the 9th grade in a new school with people I did not know, in a new neighborhood I never thought I would live in. It was not good. I did not feel motivated in school, I did not feel comfortable. Throughout the whole school year I did not do anything. I lied to my mom “no homework today” then get on my PS4 and wasted the day away playing video games. I failed a couple of quizzes, failed tests, completely bombing them to shreds.

That same summer, I had summer school, and guess what… I failed that too. Proud of it? Not one bit. I had four classes that I again failed. Weeks later, my mother and I get called into the school administration office “he failed summer school.” My mother starts crying, and I just sit with a straight face, without a care in the world. At the end of that meeting, they came to the conclusion of giving me a second chance. I cherished that. I had to prove that they made the right decision, and I have proven that so far.

Stemming from that, I learned the importance of education, and I have passed every class. Since they gave me that second chance, I have been grateful for it. Getting held back was abysmal. It was depressing knowing I wouldn’t get to graduate with my original class, but I had to power through that. So, these experiences can be used to look back on through everyday life. I want to be a sports commentator/broadcaster, that’s my future plan.


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