By the end of his Freshman year, Jose began to understand English through “reading a lot, watching a lot of TV, listening to music, carrying [his] dictionary everywhere,” pushing him to begin understanding what people were saying to him. After turning 16 by the end of his Freshman year, he began to explain to his counselor that he was planning on dropping out. After being persuading to give it another shot his Sophomore year, his high school counselor pushed him to become more involved on campus through the art club, school choir, and become a photographer for the school newspaper, helping him develop friendships with students in his class. It was during this time that Jose and his sisters decided to move out of their father’s house and live on their own.
By the end of his Junior year, Jose was questioned by his father if he wanted to begin working, and through men being culturally raised to be the providers for a family, he believed it was his turn to begin providing for his family by working. However, after talking to his counselor, she explained to him the “importance of education, and the things [he] could do,” and explained to him that by getting a high school education he would be capable of getting a better income.
At the start of his senior year, Jose had to persuade his father to let him continue getting an education and finish high school. Having the opportunity to go to Mexico, they ended up staying for too long, forcing Jose to miss 3 weeks of school at the start of the winter. Being kicked out of his sister’s house by his brother-in-law, he had no place to stay at as he did not want to return to his father. He then traveled to his counselor’s house to explain his situation and ask for help. Upon returning to school, he talked to his teachers about his situation and attempt to make up for the time that he missed his senior year.
During this last semester, he was told by his counselor about a program that would provide him the opportunity to study in community college for two years. Nervous of telling his father, he explained that by getting his Associate’s degree, he would be able to get a better job in 2 years. Despite his father being hesitant, he approved of Jose continuing his education. However, he was later told about not being able to go to community college for two years with the program due to having too many missed days. With the help of his high school counselor going through the system to point out mistakes in his attendance made by the school, he was able to be apart of the program again to continue his education.