Gerardo Molinero-Dimas could have become just another face on the street. Not long ago, he was jeopardizing his future by falling victim to the same temptations that corrupt many high school students.
Thursday, Molinero-Dimas, Liberty High School’s student speaker, told fellow graduates how he saved his life and why a once failing student now dreams of earning his doctorate.
“When I got to (Liberty High School), I didn’t think I’d graduate,” he said. “People would say, ‘You’re just going to be another bad kid.’ But now I know anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
Molinero-Dimas spent years transferring from school to school — attending 11 in all — which caused his grades to suffer. After spending years waiting for his next move and a fresh start, Molinero-Dimas realized he couldn’t wait any longer. He transferred to Liberty High School as a junior willing to work tirelessly in order to graduate.
“The entire staff has been phenomenal in helping me reach my goals,” he said. “It’s a small student body. It’s a smaller community, so we’re a lot tighter. Liberty gives you the tools to catch up when you’re really far behind if you’re willing to work for it.”
On Thursday, Molinero-Dimas wanted all his fellow students, and four younger brothers, to know how to keep their lives on a successful path.
“I really want to shine the way for the next generation,” he said. “And I want my younger brothers to know that they can make it if they have the drive. I really want to do everything in my power to show them what’s right and keep them away from the bad things in high school. I want them to succeed more than I have.”
Several years ago, Molinero-Dimas didn’t imagine he’d be giving a speech at his high school graduation. But today he hopes others can learn from his experiences.
“It’s easier to go down a bad path because there are so many bad influences,” he said. “You have to have a strong will and be independent if you’re going to avoid that path.”
Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.