HOCC: Esmeralda Vargas

Esmeralda Vargas  (9) explains her goals and how she will get there. Facing many challenges, she still keeps her head up and looks toward her future. 

Jasmine Toolan: What is your goal in life?

Esmeralda Vargas: Honestly, just to finish high school and get college and get a degree in nursing.

JT: What inspired you to get a nursing degree? Why is that the path you want to take?

EV: Because when I was two months old, I got sick, and I got sick again when I was nine, and I’ve been sick ever since. I want to help people understand that it’s okay to be like that. Because growing up, I was different. I don’t want other people to feel like just because you’re sick from something you can’t control that you’re different from anyone else.

When I was two months old, I had pneumonia. And then when I was nine, I just got sick and my mom took me to the doctor, and they just kept giving me medicine, but I wasn’t getting better after a month or two. So my mom took me to a better doctor and they told me I had asthma mixed with bronchitis and that’s why I cough a lot. I’ve been sick with that ever since I was nine.  Now it’s been four or five years. I don’t want people to feel like they’re alone in that.

JT: You were really young when this was happening and through a child’s mind it’s difficult to get through these situations. How did you motivate yourself to keep pushing yourself to where you are now?

EV: It was mostly my friends. In elementary school, I had this one friend and she would help me. Eventually, we just stopped being friends. It wasn’t anything really toxic. We just grew apart. I met a new friend recently and he’s the reason I’ve been getting better.

JT: You said you wanted to go into nursing? How do you plan on getting there?

EV: Well, I plan on finishing high school and then I want to get a simple job just to get money so I can get into college. After a year or two of having a stable job, I want to continue working and then go into college as well.

JT: Was your goal in life always to become a nurse or did you have to change your mind over time?

EV: Over time I changed my mind. Before I wanted to be a therapist, but I changed my mind to being a nurse.

JT: What made you change your mind?

EV: Getting sick changed my mind. Before, I wanted to be a nurse because my sister was going through stuff growing up. I was six when it happened and I just decided I wanted to help people so they don’t feel alone. I didn’t want another person feeling how my sister felt. Seeing all that at a young age, it changes the way you see stuff. Then when I turned nine, I also wanted to help people not feel alone because they’re sick.

What will Esmeralda do when she faces yet another conflict? 

EV: I’ve always been a hard worker. I’ve always pictured that if I had to, I would work two jobs.  I know that I have two older siblings that can support me and my parents and I have family members that can also support me so I can live with my family until I’m stable enough to go to college.

Where does she see herself in the near future? 

EV: In five years, I would have probably graduated and probably working to get into college and getting my own apartment.

JT: How about in 10 years?

EV: Graduated from college and trying to get into nursing.

Here’s some advice she wishes she could have received when entering high school. 

EV: There are a lot of people that will judge you without even knowing you. These people, they’re not going to stick with you throughout your whole life. Honestly, just do whatever you want because once they have something else to talk about, they won’t think of you anymore.

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