By Gabriel Cazares, High School Senior, Houston, TX
Abstract: A high school student with a visual impairment applies to become a member of the National Honor Society. He gives his motivation for wanting to become a member and the contributions he will make as a member of NHS.
Keywords: blind, visual impairment, glaucoma, National Honor Society
Editor’s note: Gabriel lives in Houston with his mom, dad, and two brothers. All the males have glaucoma. He participated in the school district’s choir programs until he fell in love with debate. He has been vice president of the debate team for 3 years. He holds leadership positions with the National Youth Leadership Network, the National Kids As Self-Advocates, and with his church youth group.
Often times people make erroneous assumptions when it comes to an individual with a disability. Our modern culture has portrayed negative images of people with disabilities. The world thinks that because someone is impaired they have to lower their standards and expectations in order for the individual to meet them. I, as a student with a visual impairment, feel insulted by this. One who is disabled can perform equally with their peers if they have the right skills, motivation, and determination to do so. One thing that sets me aside from the rest is the fact that I don’t ever take “NO” for an answer. If something doesn’t work the first time, I reconsider my situation, and think of other ways to approach the same problem until I come up with the best solution.
My biggest contribution to the Northbrook High School chapter of the National Honor Society is proving wrong stereotypical points of view that people may have about me. Even some of my fellow peers that have been with me since elementary school sometimes think that just because I’m blind things are handed to me on a silver platter. Even though I wish this was true, it is not. I have to work just as hard, and sometimes even harder than they do to achieve my goals. By becoming a member of the National Honor Society I will prove to everyone that just because I’m blind doesn’t mean that I don’t have the same potential to be as successful as everyone else.
Another fact that has motivated me to apply to be a member of the National Honor Society is to promote academic achievement throughout our school. Many students come in with the mentality that Northbrook is a school where academic achievement is not stressed. However, what I have learned through my four year journey on our campus is that school is only as good or as bad as you choose to make it. From my perspective those who want to better themselves have all the opportunities to do so in our school.
The final and most personal reason I would like to join the NHS is to show my younger brother that anything is achievable if you try hard enough. Coming from a Mexican/American background where all my siblings were on different academic levels, reaching a distinction like the National Honor Society is a significant accomplishment. I have people that I have admired for their tireless efforts to better themselves, and I would like to be the same for others. I may not be the smartest, the most talented, or the most popular; but whatever I do, I do it to the best of my ability. As an Honor Society member proving wrong stereotypical views, promoting academic achievement, and being a role model for my siblings and whoever else may be watching, are the three biggest contributions I can bring to the organization.