Our Student All-Stars

Rigo Estrada, AMBITION All-Star 2010, ECHS
“My future looks like that light!”

An individual with the ability to communicate continues to defy average importance. A person who strives to examine, explore and excel is uncommon, yet all things a person of any background can strive for. We have all experienced hardship and we have all felt alone. Such emotions and thoughts can be overwhelming in the face of uncertainty, but harnessing our thoughts into building ourselves is one of the most productive things we can do. The conversion of a wide array of any sort of emotion, unwanted situation and self doubt is a vastly vital tool a student can master. Once we have control over ourselves in the fluctuation of life we can further pave the road of triumph and arrive at our destination a flourishing, educated and contributing member of society. There are obstacles that may hinder progress, but obstacles can be overcome or broken through. Skepticism can be dismantled and at its new base is a sense of confidence to fortify the tower of ability.

Describing me a few years back could be boiled down to a “meek and mild-mannered Clark Kent, without the superpowers to deal with the baddies.” I was only comfortable around people I had been around for a length of time and who spoke to me first. I was not only in a shell, my shell was under shade, not wanting to get sunburnt from the illumination of risk. An opportunity to open and exit my shell arrived during my economics class my junior year. The chance presented itself when I showed some of my writing to Nancy Gale, who was beginning her program, AMBITION that year (at the time it was called In True Fashion). I never believed my writing was anything more than writing, as a matter of fact at the time I didn’t believe there was anything special about me. Before I knew it, literally, I was asked to stand in front of a video camera which seemed bigger than I was and to make a reach out video to Ellen DeGeneres. I knew that doing so was helping someone, somewhere, somehow, but at the same time I was so nervous. Needless to say, I stuttered, stumbled and stammered incoherently. Afterwards, I felt an amazing warm glow; I tackled a fear I had head on, which is public speaking. This was one of several times Nancy put me in front of a video camera and eventually it stopped making me so nervous. I see superman as someone who can conqueror adversity. I may not be tall, I may not have an awesome red cape, or big muscles, but I do have complex dreams, burning passions and an undeterred belief that everyone can progress and find a place in the world. As a result of taking hold of my fears and stepping outside of my comfort zone I know I am one step closer to my goals. Working with Nancy I soon saw that every time I spoke for AMBITION, I was opening up doors to new opportunities. Showing others that stepping out of their usual line and speaking up when they wished to remain silent made me even stronger and more willing to aid others. Before long I began engaging my peers and showing them even an introvert like myself can be compelled and inspired to speak publically.

Captivated by being able to do what I once deemed impossible, I quickly grew comfortable with my fear and it faded away. I made a drastic transformation and showed it is possible. As if to cement that opportunities come once risk is undertaken, I had the honor of being chosen as AMBITION Student Correspondent. Once one has grown enough to flourish, it’s beyond important to cultivate that same growth in others. I now had a platform to convey that we are all equally capable of achieving heights with the unrelenting wings of passion, commitment and self-belief. Nurturing peers will cause others to do the very same and a chain reaction to better one another will ensue. To achieve the unthinkable one must try that which we have not tried. To shatter restricting barriers we must build confidence in our abilities. To know what we excel in requires participation and fortitude. The tools to be all you can be are handed to you; it’s up to you and to utilize them and bring change to your life and the world at hand.

A freshman at California State University Dominguez Hills, Rigo continues his work with AMBITION as he carries out the responsibilities of Student Representative.