Enriqueta Medina said that too often in her life she stayed quiet. Her life was full of turmoil and pain, but still Enriqueta said nothing. Last month though she finally spoke, and she brought us all to tears.
“I have a duty to speak the truth, as I see it, and share not just my triumphs. Not just the things that felt good, but the pain,” Enriqueta said at Highlands Winter Graduation ceremony. “It is important to share how I know survival is survival.”
Enriqueta stood proudly on that stage, receiving her high school diploma, and told everyone about her story.
“I don’t blame anyone but myself for my failures,” she said, “for being so weak and not sticking up for myself. I married the wrong person. This is the person who hurt me the most. Women often put up with all these things because they have no other choice, or this is what they want to believe. Because they lack education, they believe they will not be able to survive on their own.”
Opening herself up to the audience, made everyone sit on the edge of their seat. She spoke of finally leaving her ex, and how she went back to school raising six children on her own. Then, she spoke about how her health deteriorated and how she almost lost it all, and her own life.
“This is why we have taken control of our lives. We are tired of the pain,” Enriqueta said, as everyone cheered. “I’m tired of laziness. I’m tired of procrastinating. Now, I live a promising life because of the change. The change I have made.”
Enriqueta remembers times when she didn’t even have money for gas to make it to school.
“These times I had to choose between bringing my kids to school or myself. I chose them,” she said.
No longer does Enriqueta have to make decisions like that in her life, because now she is armed with a high school diploma and a strong resume to go with it.
“Now, I want to show you all that wishes do come true. My wish has come true today. You see, since the last graduation ceremony, I have wanted to speak at my high school graduation, but I never told anyone about it. Then one day, my counselor was asking me about my life, and I was telling her, and she said, ‘You have to speak at graduation.’ And now here I am.”