Sleepy Hollow Hispanic Scholarship Winner – Reyshel Guzmán 

Reyshel Guzmán (Photo: Sleepy Hollow High School).

Puede encontrar una versión en español de este artículo AQUÍ.

The Carpinone family, owners of Dwyer & Michael’s Funeral Home in Tarrytown, has established a scholarship for Hispanic students at Sleepy Hollow High School. This is the sixth of six essays written by the scholarship winners.  

When immigrating to a new country life changes in less than a second. I felt like no one understood my emotions and I would never adjust to a new country. I ignored the negative comments such as “you are not friendly”. I liked having no friends, no drama, and no stress. This experience taught me to never give up and keep my head up.   

My first day of school was one of the hardest since I did not know where anything was, I was sitting alone and everyone was staring at me. That day I met my gym teacher, Ms. King, and she told me to sit with her. The first time I saw her I knew she was going to be my angel because she seemed so nice. She asked someone who was sweet if she could translate what the teacher was saying and be my friend. I did not expect Chrisladia to be my friend. I thought after the teacher left she was not going to talk to me anymore. But my new friend helped me become a better person and to be positive by always telling me to ignore anything negative. Chrisladia was the only friend I had, and everything started from translating to hanging out every day. 

Chrisladia was always there for me no matter what others thought. She always said, “As long as you think something is right, nothing else should matter.”  That helped me be myself. During the year, students started to know me more for who I really was, and I made a couple of friends. Eventually I felt happy for a few months, but I started to be lonely since I lost all my friends because we did not talk during the summer. We lost contact since I did not spend my summers in New York. When I got back from the Dominican Republic, I only had that one friend and my gym teacher. At that time I realized who the people I needed to be part of my life were. Even though I felt sad and alone again I remained positive. I did not need to be accepted to keep going.  

After this experience, I started being myself and loving myself for who I was in this beautiful village, Sleepy Hollow. All I cared about and still care about is my education and to keep going forward. There was a morning when I woke up and wanted to think differently. So, I just decided to ignore everything bad and to not care about others’ opinions. In other words, I did what my heart told me to do and just did what I thought was right. This is significant to me because I learned my worth and to keep going no matter what. I also found myself and by this, I mean that I found the real me. I found out that I was a positive person, something that I did not know.  

All of this stands out to me because at the beginning I felt like I would not be able to adjust to new things, but I learned that nothing is impossible. I just needed to believe in myself and do my best to achieve my goals. In the future I expect to be successful and to accomplish all my goals, such as buying myself and my mom a home, finishing college, and to always be positive. 

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About the Author: Reyshel Guzmán