Looking back to the beginning of my freshman year in high school, with my baggy clothes and messy hair, I never would have thought I would stand where I am today. I never would have thought that leadership would be such an important aspect of my life and that I would continually aim to convince others to experience the same. Most importantly, I never would have thought that I would have so many unique opportunities, from interviewing Hot Chelle Rae and Allstar Weekend to meeting with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. All of these opportunities have made me grow as a person, and I owe it all to Career and Technical Education.
People always ask me what ethnicity I am and I tell them that I am Ethiopian, but they never really question who I am and where I come from. Growing up in an Ethiopian household, I can surely say that my life has been based on financial circumstances. My parents were both born in Ethiopia, in areas that required more attention on assisting the household rather than receiving an education. When they came to America, my mother worked as a housekeeper and my father worked as a taxicab driver, jobs which they continue until this day. One key word…jobs. I didn’t get the toys I wanted for my birthday and Santa didn’t come for a few Christmases, but I knew that I had loving parents who tried to make the best of things. If it weren’t for them, I would not stand as the valedictorian at one of the best CTE schools in this nation—Southwest Career and Technical Academy, an Apple-Distinguished school.
CTE curriculums and teachers, some of the best teachers that I have had, prepare you for the future careers that you may be interested in pursuing. They truly care where you end up in life and the hands-on equipment allows students to learn more actively. I cannot even begin to explain the opportunities I have had at SWCTA, and I truly will miss it when I graduate this year. My program area, Respiratory Therapy, consists of a family of students who are also great leaders. I have learned through my role as Nevada HOSA’s State Secretary that leadership is an important part of the health care field and for my career. My Respiratory Therapy teacher’s encouragement and my experiences within HOSA—Future Health Professionals have allowed me to explore pursuing a health career. Additionally, my experience in DECA has allowed me to explore marketing/business careers. Now I feel confident going into college about the direction I want to take for my career. One key word…career. CTE has motivated me to want something better and become someone better in order to one day say, “I am a successful doctor with my own office” or “I am a successful businesswoman.”
Bserat in Carson City advocating for CTE
From speaking to legislators in Washington D.C. to networking with students and community leaders across the United States, CTE has led me to a path filled with long lasting friendships, opportunity, and a life of success. Where the world is voiceless, I will stand for those who do not have the power or the courage. I will excel with the motivation to give back to my community and my parents for everything they have done for me. I will work harder, think smarter, and hold myself to high standards; as a leader in a movement to change the world. One key word…leader.
Thank you to those who have supported Career and Technical Education. Because of your assistance in pushing for CTEs, you have planted seeds across the United States that will soon blossom and make positive impacts in communities across the nation.