I left the Dominican Republic to come to the United States in 7th grade. I was put in a special education class. I wasn’t slow, but I was quiet – you know different culture? I was very introverted. I’ll always remember that class. Other kids used to tease all of us. It’s interesting how people can get lost that way.
I befriended a teacher who took me under his wing. He encouraged me to participate in class. It was just a matter of confidence. If we were going to do something in science, he would encourage me to do a project and present it. He helped me come out of my shell.