Student comes to America for opportunities, access to technology

Leaving the familiar for the unknown can be frightening, but freshman Santa Sic Tumax took it all in stride when she moved from Guatemala to Bryan six years ago without knowing the language or customs of the area. She caught on quickly, and is working to continue to excel in school and life.

“My family moved to America to have a better future and gain opportunities to work,” Santa said. “There is so much more we can do here, and we have access to technology.”

Santa’s Pre-IB English I teacher, Cynthia Dominguez, has seen how she has made the best of the opportunities she has had since her family made the move to Bryan.

“Santa is such a hard worker,” Dominguez said. “I’m very impressed by her work ethic, even when she doesn’t even understand the material she still tries and applies herself.”

Santa’s dedication to school is being seen as something she wants to do and not something she has to do.

“She’s just very dedicated,” Dominguez said. “She appreciates school, and you can tell she is grateful to be here and wants to be here.”

Santa’s close friend, who has known her for about three years, can also see that she’s making the most of her situation in America.

“I’m most impressed by the way Santa has learned to speak English well,” freshman Mirian Garcia Tzoc said. “She also works to get along with people and get to know them.”

  Although Santa has made great progress over the years, she still faces various obstacles.

“Sometimes I can tell that there is a language barrier,” Dominguez said, “but that’s not stopping her. She’s diligent and she’s like: ‘I’m gonna get it done and I’m gonna understand.’ You can tell she’s not a quitter.” 

Santa’s teachers have also seen how she shows dedication to her education. 

“I appreciate students like Santa,” Dominguez said. “I can relate to her, put myself in her shoes, and it’s refreshing to see students who want to be here and want to learn. You can tell that she’s a hundred percent genuine and she’s here because she wants to be and not because she’s forced to be.”  

There are ups-and-downs about living in a new country. Some want to go back because they are homesick or they don’t like the country that they moved to. Others want to stay because they find something that they didn’t find in their original country.

“When I was little I loved Guatemala,” Santa said. “Now that I am here though, I have more opportunities and a better life.”