Valued Youth Partnership

Valeria Acevedo

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – 2010 Essay Contest


Middle School Third Place

Valeria Acevedo
Seventh grade, Ann Richards Middle School, La Joya ISD
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Change in My Life

Since I’ve been in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, there has been a change in my life. One sunny day, I found myself sitting on a yellow school bus. I was headed toward an elementary school. I walked into a classroom full of students, they all turned and stared at me. I thought myself, “I wish I would have never stepped in.” One hour was passing, every minute was another fast beat in my heart. For this first day, I just sat on a chair and all the things brought me memories to when I was a small girl. Nowadays, I ask myself: “When did I grow up? Everything feels as if it all happened yesterday.”

As the days were going, I felt a little bit better. There was more confidence in myself. This Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program has showed me the meaning of respect and it has made me feel special. Being with my tutees made me know that I am important to someone in life. There were so many feelings at times, when I was sad my tutees would cheer me up, they became the light of my days.

Every time my tutees would ask me a question, my voice started to tremble because I was so nervous. I have always been a shy girl. My life has changed a lot. Just as my family, my tutees have showed me that life is full of mistakes but we learn from our regrets. The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program has encouraged me to become a successful teacher. Every morning I would misbehave in my classes but when it was time to step into my class in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program I knew I had to act like a teacher. My tutees come first in life, they have changed my life.

I once admired girls that misbehaved because I thought they were cool and popular. I am not that much of a popular girl, but I sure have kept all my friends. Not only do I want to be a teacher to my tutees, but I also want to be their best friend – someone they can count on whenever they need help.

I have had my times when I don’t care about life. I fight with my family, and I leave my house. Even though I have nowhere to go sometimes, I just wish we can walk our own road. But now my road is with my tutees, and that’s the thing that keeps a smile in my face.

I have answered back to my teacher, and my tutee has responded back to me. When they answer back to me it breaks my heart, so I’ve learned not to answer back to teachers. When I was in fifth grade, my life was worthless. Now I feel that I am worthy. I have gotten good grades. But then I think, “Good grades are not something I can show off to improve my life.” Music is totally my life, and I write songs just to let out what I feel. At the end of the year, I plan to write a song to my tutees letting them know much they mean to me.