By Luisa Florez
Believing that failing is not the end of the world can be a very hard thing to do when things aren’t going to plan. However, if you’re looking for proof on why it isn’t a catastrophe, you don’t need to look too far. All you need to do is reach out to your role model and ask them to share their story. You’ll learn that their achievements are the results of the lessons learned through their failures and that their inspiring influence is the consequence of their resilience to not give up. Still don’t believe me? Watch and read SHPE professionals Sofi Alarcon’s and Baldemar Silva’s story to learn how their obstacles became a stepping stone in their path to success.
Sofi Alarcon | Civil Engineering
Baldemar Silva | Computer Science
“For the past three months, I had the opportunity to assist three elementary students working on a paper car for their school wide competition. During each session, we followed the instructions from the teacher on how to build the car, we tested the car, and made small changes to correct issues until competition time. On competition day, my team, the Mystical Puppies, was finally called to compete in the long distance race. I gave them each a high five and I wished them the best. When the green light was given, the car took off but veered off the stage. I watched as my team walk back to their class slowly… with their heads down. I read once that the road to success is often paved in failure, but hardly do you hear of the struggles that made the journey worthwhile.
My name is Baldemar Silva and I have been mentoring college students for academic success and career guidance for a few years and with much success. I must admit that I do not have a strong academic record, but it is through my failures that I have learned how to teach others to succeed.
It was my fifth semester in college, and I was have a hard time since my family was away from me. I was home sick and my grades were really starting to drop. I thought that if I focused and studied more that my grades would get better. Honestly…I felt like I was in a sinking ship and I was the only one having these problems. At the end of the semester when I didn’t make the grades, I put on academic probation. I felt like I was being punished for not being an acceptable student. Instead, I decided to take the time and reflect why I decided to go to college.
It was at this time, that I turned my college life around by learning from my mistakes. One of the mistakes is that I never asked for help. In life, there are people everywhere willing to help others. If they can’t help you, then maybe they can point you to another who might be able to. You need to make others aware that you need help by asking. I haven’t met one person in life, where they have made it on their own. My second mistake is that I complained about everything, and never made progress. I like to say, “If you are complaining about something you want, it is because you don’t want it”. Instead, I should have been finding ways to make progress. My third mistake was that I didn’t have my priorities set. Many individuals go to college and sometimes forget why they decided to go to school. Sometimes, you just need to stop, take a breath, and remember why you decided to go to school. If you are in a “sinking ship”, take some time to reflect who you are and what you want. Just because you have failed, doesn’t mean give up. What it means is that you need to change your habits, and with this you will grow into something different.
Since then, I have graduated with my Bachelors in Computer Science and I now work as a software developer for a Fortune 500 company ranked in the top 10. Also, I continue to mentor individuals in STEM fields and I share with them the principles that I have learned. So wherever you are in life, find a mentor that can help you in your journey.
Recommended reading: “The One Thing”