Embracing Opportunity I Discovering Potential I Living Faith

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Donnelly college has a bold vision to
become the most transformative and accessible Catholic college in the
United States. To accomplish this, we provide an education that is open to all –
focusing on serving the whole person mind, body, and spirit. Since 1949, Donnelly College has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of students by
allowing them to embrace opportunity discover their potential and find and
live their faith. College was not something that I thought
was useless to begin with. My family has always been a blue-collar type of family
we just work work work and I still have that mentality where you just work work
work I just implement that to my studies. My second semester, one of my teachers
Jaime Fuentes told me I need to get involved if I want to make anything up
college for my personal gain and I did I got involved with soccer club and then a
position with the IT department. My teachers are definitely always on me
about new opportunities that they hear they have way more connections than me
and they’re always telling me, ‘Hey you should read up on internships over the
summer and I do and I do my best to not let them down to do my part and get
involved and it has helped me out with going to conferences that I would never
thought of going to by myself and Donnelly put such an emphasis on getting
you out there, giving you the impression that you’re no different from every
other student you have the same opportunity you need to take it. You just
have to be willing to put your part in it and they’ll add the other part and they’ll
make you succeed. My daughter is probably the best thing
ever happened to me. She pushes me to make straight A’s
so I stay up long hours even though I have to be at work at 5:30 in the
morning I stay up very long hours and I read and I read and I read and I study
and I study just to make sure that I am doing what I had to do to eventually put
her through college. I’m the second youngest of seven and I was the first
person to get a high school diploma, I was the first person to go to college
and I’m still the only one in college. I didn’t know anything about myself until
I came to Donnelly. I didn’t know that I was brilliant, I didn’t know that I could push
myself, I didn’t know that I could possibly be something more than
basically what I am now like yeah I’m a probation officer but I didn’t know that
I could be a leader. At some point, I need to wake up and say, ‘Hey, there’s a leader
somewhere inside of you Tenisha, and if everybody else at Donnelly can see it, I
know you can see me it. I’m proud to say that I’m going to be down to graduate
because everybody makes you feel like you are a part of their family like they
greet you when you walk in the door like I’ve never seen anybody with a frown on
their faces yeah like everybody smiles around here
and I feel like even on days like when they probably have a lot going on in the
back of their mind or homes is bad, they are still smiling because they say at
the end of the day we’re here to serve the students and if the students came to
get an education, an education is what we’re going to give them. I was born in Guatemala, and I came
here at the age of seven and I went to elementary school went to middle school
and back in my country I suffered, I was living in adversity. I wasn’t at the
right place at the right time on many occasions and that really played a big
role in how I developed as a young woman. I remember one night sitting in my
bedroom and just feeling like I wanted the earth to swallow me whole. I had
absolutely no desire to live anymore. That night, I just sat there and cried my
eyes out and the words that came out of my mouth were, ‘Jesus you are my shepherd
I will follow you.’ And mind you, I don’t I don’t know anything about my faith,
although I was baptized, I never read the scripture I never got to know who Jesus
was who God was to us and who we are as Christians so for those words to come to
my mouth were more crazy. And I decided to just go with it and I
went with it and I told my mom the next day I want to
go to a Catholic private school – I don’t know why but I want to and I ended up at
Christo Ray. And from then I just immersed myself in my faith so much I
wanted to learn everything about it I wanted to get back into it I wanted to
to yell it from the rooftops let other people know how beautiful faith can be.
Donnelly has helped me in my faith by just being present. Just the fact that
it’s there available for me, that there’s an on-campus priest, that there’s clubs
and despite the fact that everyone might not be Catholic or might not be
Christian it’s so open even if you’re not Christian you still deserve to feel hope
and I feel like that’s, that’s the biggest thing that faith has to offer
and Donnelly gives hope. When I say I’m a Donnelly student that means that I’m a
fighter, I’m defying the odds, I’m even though sometimes I struggle, I’m still
working towards it and I’ll forever be a Donnelly student.


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