Dancing Toward My Future

As a child and into my teen years I was very shy. When I was eight years old I started ballet. I joined a pre-professional ballet company in Houston where I had the opportunity to move up in the company line and later mentored younger dancers. Ballet helped me come out of my shell when speaking to adults and performing in front of hundreds of people. Ballet is what made me into the person I am today.

Valuable Life Lessons

Learning how to take constructive criticism from my dancing instructors helped me focus on improving my technique instead of feeling defeated. I also learned how to communicate effectively with adults and my fellow counterparts. Additionally, ballet allowed me to learn how to manage my schedule. When I joined the senior company, I would dance more than 20 hours a week, participating in about ten performances a year. At the same time, I had school commitments along with church and family commitments every week. Ballet was a part of my life for ten years and those ten years were filled with good times and hard times.

Building confidence

That experience helped me build more confidence as a student not only in the studio, but in the classroom and beyond. I developed leadership skills that have helped me within my church and in college. I am taking every opportunity to further all of these skills while at Lone Star College, including being involved with Phi Theta Kappa. Currently I work as a pharmacy technician. The confidence and social skills I developed through ballet allow me to interact with doctors and patients in a professional way. I especially enjoy working with the patients.  My career goal is to be a physical therapist. I have always loved the idea of anything in the medical field and I think the rehabilitation part of physical therapy will be particularly rewarding.

Investing in my future

Aside from my career goals, I also have a goal to complete my college education with little or no debt. So I was very excited when I learned last August that I had been selected as a recipient of the Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education. Receiving this scholarship helps me understand that other people are investing in my future along with me. The two-year award spans my sophomore year at community college through my junior year at a university. This Fall I plan to transfer to the University of Texas – Tyler. Another benefit of the scholarship is access to Pearson educational materials. We all know that textbooks can be expensive, and it is nice to have that support from Pearson as a college student.

More than a mentor

And lastly, through the Pearson Scholarship, I’ve been paired with a mentor. Having a mentor to talk with every month is very helpful. My mentor is like a good friend to me. She is more than an educational mentor because I feel like I can talk to her about anything. I can share plans for my future and I also get feedback from her regarding how to approach challenges in education and in life.  She has shared her college and work experiences with me. That has been helpful as I grow as a student, employee, and person.  I appreciate that she is down to earth and real.   

Looking back, I can thank ballet for teaching me respect, patience, poise, confidence and so much more. The skills I learned over my ten years of dancing have been key in my pursuit of scholarships and also a career that I know I will love. I look forward to using my talents in service to others.

 

 

Kaylin is a recipient of the 2017 Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education. Each Pearson Scholar is paired with a Pearson professional mentor who provides support as Scholars progress toward degree completion. We are incredibly proud of all the Pearson Scholars. Please check back as we continue to highlight each scholar’s story!

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