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My Best Christmas Presents


By: Kyla Tejero


Turning 21 this year, and ending a very eventful year of 2022 with a promising scholastic achievement are two of the best Christmas presents I ever received. Aging is indeed an opportunity to gain more life experiences. At age 21, I learned slowly how the adult world evolves. At 21, I have fewer friends, but I learned who stayed through the best and worst times. I learned how to cope with challenging and painful moments. Life has taught me to ignore situations and people that are not important. I came to know that my faith is getting stronger each day.

Completing my education is the icing on top of turning 21. Graduating Summa Cum Laude, with a Gold Ivy Leaf Award for Aurora University’s superior scholarship status is beyond my dream of completing my BS in Nursing degree. After 3 years and half, here I am leaving the portals of Aurora University, touching the reality of the world, and finding my spot under the sun. As God continues to be my constant guide, I am ready to conquer my dreams. I want to be the best version of myself. I am ready to be more useful to the world. And for you, young people out there who desire the best things in life – try education. It is fulfilling . It is life-changing. But the best part for me is that education can make a huge difference.

This Christmas, we would like to listen to other young people’s dreams and aspirations in life. If you want to be part of this column or want to refer somebody, please contact me at tejerokayla@gmail.com.

Rose Marianne Go says, “As a Filipino-American college student, the number one thing I want to accomplish is to make myself and my family proud! In school, I want to be active in multicultural clubs and/or organizations to honor and celebrate my culture, in addition to being the best student I can be. After graduating, I plan to go to medical school, and hopefully in the far future, practice family medicine or become a pediatrician.”

Jacoby Anne Villanada says, “I am struggling a lot in my academics right now, if I’m being honest. My goal is to finish college because that is what is expected of me, and of course, I feel that it is the only way right now to succeed in societal standards. However, I try to keep my focus on my true goal: to help people and be there for them in their worst moments and I believe that going into the medical field is the best place to accomplish that goal. I am aiming to get some hospital experiences before applying to medical school and taking the MCAT, which is a standardized exam for medical school.”

Carmel Ada says, “For me, being an Asian American woman in art means visually expressing myself and what I stand for. I want to be part of the creators that authentically represents the Asian community in mainstream media, especially those who are often underrepresented. I use my medium as a language to connect with others. I want to create stories and worlds that are tangible, real, and authentic.”

Ngun Par says, “My goal after graduation is to work in the environmental restoration field. As an Asian American and as a first generation immigrant, I want to represent my people, and culture. In the future, I wish to spread diversity, and inclusivity in the workplace.”


Rose Marianne Cultura Go,
BS Public Health
Northern Illinois University


Jacoby Anne Villanada,
BS Medical Anthropology
University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill


Carmel Ada,
BA Art Direction
American Academy of Art College


Ngun Par,
BS Environmental Studies
Northern Illinois University

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