Arnold Hinojosa battles dyslexia, but he has never let that stop him from pursuing his dreams of getting a college education and a career that instills pride.
Last month one of his dreams came true when he graduated with an associate degree in general studies from Texas Southmost College.
“I am one step closer to achieving my goals,” said the 20-year-old. “Getting here has always been a possibility, but it’s definitely taken great perseverance. I am excited now to see what’s in store, and TSC made that possible.”
The Brownsville native admits that having dyslexia has made school more challenging, especially in elementary when he was still learning how to cope and adjust.
“Growing up I never wanted my dyslexia to be a barrier for me,” said Hinojosa. “And thanks to the teachers and resources available to me throughout my educational journey, I have learned how to overcome the challenges of dyslexia with methods and strategies I was taught early on.”
Dyslexia is a learning disability that involves difficulty reading and decoding, or identifying, speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words. Students with confirmed dyslexia are eligible for special resources at most colleges including TSC.
“I looked into all of my resource options and I took advantage of some, like tutoring,” he said. “There were many others, such as extended times for testing, but I never needed to use them. It was nice knowing that they were available if I needed them.”
Hinojosa added that he had one more obstacle to overcome before putting on that cap and gown, and that was how would he pay for college?
Fortunately, for him, the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) covered his tuition and a $2,000 TSC scholarship helped him purchase books and supplies.
“The financial assistance I received from both TSC and DARS helped alleviate the financial burden on me and my family,” said Hinojosa. “Everything just seemed to fall into place at TSC. Everyone wants to help you and see you succeed. It’s not like that everywhere. It was a great place to start.”
Hinojosa will be transferring to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in the spring to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management.
“TSC changed my life. It gave me the tools I need to continue my education,” he said. “I’m more prepared than ever to start this new chapter of my life at UTRGV and it’s all because of TSC. And I want others who may be overcoming learning disabilities like me, that they don’t define us. You can be as successful as you want to be.”
Hinojosa plans to work at his father’s construction planning business to help the family, while working on making his ultimate dream come true – owning a residential and commercial construction company.
For more information on the programs and services offered at TSC, visit tsc.edu.
Spring 2021 classes begin Jan. 18.