6th Grade Teacher and GHS Football Coach, Goshen Community Schools
My family is from Mexico, a small town called San Juan Tuxco. In the town we were living in Mexico, there weren’t many opportunities. My parents were migrant workers but were looking for stable income. They left Mexico to come up here to find work. At the time, they were young. My mom was 18, my dad was 20.
Man, when I was younger, I mean, I didn’t think I was going to go to college. I thought I was going to get married, have a family, and work in a factory like my dad. But what threw a curveball was when my parents left when I was in seventh grade. That’s when things were put in perspective. I felt like, OK, you have to be on the straight and narrow now. You have to hone in on school and your relationships that you’ve built around you. It was kind of like a sink-or-swim situation. I didn’t know where I was going to be in life.
Bill and Karla Rieth, he’s the president of the United Way of Elkhart County, they kind of took me under their wing to make sure that I was doing alright. They’re like my adopted parents. They made sure I got scholarship money to pay for school.
Their younger son and I got to know each other through football. They had a Bible study group at their house, so some linemen from the team would go there once a week. We’d eat a hot meal and talk about God and all that fun stuff. Not only did they help me get through college, but they also helped tons of other kids as well.
Without them, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. I’ve just been very blessed with very good people in this town. Now I’m teaching English. I’m coaching. It’s a lot different than I thought it’d be.
Editor • Liz Shenk
Interview + Photography • Ashley Ganger