Congressman tells students to believe in themselves

December 13, 2013

Economics and history students at Jay HS received a lesson in politics from someone on the inside.

U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro’s visit coincided during the two-week government shutdown, and he was able to answer many questions centered on the impact to San Antonio and military families in the area.

Although about 800,000 government employees were not being paid during this period, legislators continued to receive compensation so Castro donated his paycheck to the Fisher House and the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter, both in San Antonio.

“While the American economy suffers because of hostage politics in Congress, neither Senators nor Congressmen should be getting paid,” Castro told the students.

While not exactly a rags to riches story, Castro grew up on the west side of San Antonio graduating from Jefferson HS and then attended Stanford University and Harvard University’s School of Law. He told the students about his grandmother who only achieved a fourth grade education but worked hard to make sure that her children and grandchildren would have a better, brighter future than her own.

“Apply to a college that you don’t expect to be accepted to and reach for your dreams,” he said. “There will be people, perhaps even friends, who doubt your ability to achieve greatness. But, there will also be people and friends who will encourage you and those are the people you need to surround yourselves with.”

“Always believe in yourselves and surround yourselves with people who will encourage and support your goals,” he added. “They will be your ‘angels’ who will literally lift you up off the ground when you need it the most.”

Pictured is Alejandra Dominguez (right) talking Representative Castro into taking a “selfie” with her.