First-generation student never gave up on his dream


College graduation can be an emotional time, not only for students, but for the family who supported them along the way.

Wichitan Yesennia Vielmas is married to a man who, until recently, didn't think college was for him. But spurred on by his desire to make her and their daughter proud, David Bustos-Morales persevered. On Dec. 16, he graduated from Wichita State with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering.

Read from David in his own words what going to college and earning his degree meant to him:

 The thought of college was weird to me. No one in my family had ever graduated from college. I said, "Well, what the hell. I’ll just choose a technical degree and work from there ... go work in the aircraft industry and make a living."

(But) I had a little push from Yesennia: “No, you can do better than that. You are the smartest guy I know and I know you are capable of more.”

I’ve always been interested / a nerd about how things work, taking them apart and putting them back together. Engineering called my name.

At times it got rough ... very rough. I thought about calling it quits.

No one in my family had ever graduated. Why should I? (I thought) I’m wasting my time coming to this class when I could be with my daughter and family spending time with them.

People who know me know how competitive I am, and I set the goal to shut people up and use the negativity as motivation.
David Bustos-Morales

A lot of thoughts come to mind when you’re thinking about giving up a dream of trying to do something to make your parents proud of you, give your daughter and wife a better life:

"He's never going to make it."

"He will drop out in a year."

"He won't graduate."

All of this I’ve heard. People who know me know how competitive I am, and I set the goal to shut people up and use the negativity as motivation.

"I will prove all of them wrong!" I said.

Thank God, now I can say I have. I made it, and I am thankful for everyone who has pushed me through this.

My parents for always being there for me and helping me out whenever I need them to. My wife for putting up with the bad moods after long days of work and school. For the times I came home hopeless, mad, ready to give up but her pushing me to keep working hard. The days I came home not wanting to speak to her, pushed her away, and fought because of the stress (sorry, babe).

To my daughter for her smiles and motivation she gave me, and now my son (I wish you both the best and hope to raise you and give you a good example to follow).

All of you pushed me to be who I am and still working to be. Thank you!

To everyone who is a first-generation college student, break the cycle! Be better and be someone who sets the example for the rest to come.

Next: my wife -- time to push her and my little brother. Good luck to the both of you, and God willing, I’ll be there when you both walk across that stage!