Sofia is one of our high school students who participated in the Catalyst program this past year. She has been involved with Ciudad Nueva since she was in third grade and will be entering her junior year of high school this fall.
Sofia loved hearing about all the different careers in Catalyst from the guest speakers and the workplace tours. Throughout the year, she decided that she wants to pursue a nursing degree.
“At first I was really thinking about criminal justice,” says Sofia. “Then I got interested in medicine when I saw the hospitals and medical offices. I was interested in becoming an OBGYN, but I don’t think that medical school is for me. So I thought some kind of nursing would be a great career. I like the idea of a nurse practitioner because they still prescribe medications, and the kids [patients] still think of them as doctors.”
Sofia’s Catalyst school year recap
Sofia loved the classroom part of Catalyst and learned a lot of organizational skills that will help her right now in high school. She also found Catalyst was a place that the students could be honest about their struggles.
“We were in the class setting talking about how hard homework is,” says Sofia. “It gets kind of stressful and negative and you start to think: Is it worth it? The teachers reminded us to believe in ourselves so we know it is worth it and that we can do it. I keep that in the back of my mind whenever I get down.”
She also values the skills that they practiced through role playing in class.
“I will try to keep in my mind how positive and organized I need to be,” says Sofia. “I also can’t forget the skills like writing resumes and speaking. We had to do a fake interview. We were on the spot so we learned how to deal with that pressure. I am going to have to go through real interviews some day, so I definitely think those types of skills will stay with me.”
Even though the students worked hard in class, Sofia also had a lot of fun in Catalyst.
“I will also remember how fun it was at the same time,” she says. “My most fun memories of Catalyst were when we got to learn together in class. It was just a few of us so we got plenty of one-on-one attention. I also loved the traveling!”
The College Tour!
Sofia loved touring UT Austin and Texas A&M. She had already done some college research on her own and she plans to apply to Texas Tech because of their excellent nursing program. However, after seeing UT in person, she may apply to their nursing program as well.
Her favorite funny memory of the trip happened on the day they visited UT Austin.
“When we got there, we had to find a certain college at UT,” says Sofia. “We had maps all over the place, but we couldn’t find our destination. We were super lost, and we even asked for help from lots of people. It took us like an hour to find where we wanted to go. Even Lindsey was lost! That was the most funny memory.”
What Sofia wants other students to know about Catalyst
“I would tell them that it concerns your future a lot,” says Sofia. “If you are concerned about schooling and career, you should do it. It’s not just about traveling, it’s about your future. I would tell them this is going to help you and look good on college resumes. Most of us are still confused about what we want to be. At Catalyst, we get to see lots of different viewpoints and it will help you see your options.”