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Jesus’ Story: How YOU Can Help a 1st Generation High School Student Go to College

Written By: Judith May 14, 2009 No Comment

jesusIn his darkest days, deepest lows, a young kid who wanted to belong and be like everyone else endured harassment and physical blows just to get through the end of the day. He was crucified relentlessly by those who were supposed to be friends. He was ridiculed by those he was supposed to trust. He was let down by the man who was to supposed to raise him.

This Gay Latino youth in Dallas will not be mourned. He will be celebrated.

He chose life and the promise that comes with it. This story is not about another teen suicide, not another statistic. It is about someone who survived the torments of high school thanks to a community who was ready to embrace him and that saved one kid in the nick of time.

Jesus Montelongo will graduate in the Top 10 percent of his class at Molina High School on May 30. He will go to college this fall to study either nursing or social work. He has already been accepted to University of Texas in Austin, UT Arlington, Texas Woman’s University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and is on the waiting list at New York University.

His human spirit and ambition to succeed prevailed inside his emotionally- scarred soul. Words like “faggot” and “joto” did not stop him from attending class and earning that A. Bigoted educators who passed judgment on him did not crush his dreams. A father’s misguided life will not dictate his son’s future.

Jesus was mentored at Youth First Texas. This resource center helps undo the damage that society inflicts on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth. All too often, the staff at this center hear the sad details that Jesus experienced in school on a daily basis:

“The 6th grade class was going on our graduation trip to the zoo. I came to school thinking this would be the first day at school that would be filled with happiness. I grew up loving nature and animals and had never gone to the zoo. My dream was crushed by my teacher who unfortunately played a part in the unrelenting bullying I experienced. She walked me into the corner of the classroom and whispered in my ear that I wouldn’t be able to join the other students in the field trip because there was no room on the bus for gays,” wrote Jesus in an essay.

“My eyes filled with tears as I watched a bus full of excited children make its way to the zoo. I was forced to stay in an unsupervised room full of bad kids, most of which where my every-day life bullies. As I found a desk to sit down at, I was met with glaring eyes and minds filled with malicious thoughts. All the students hated me, and they took their feelings to the extreme when they decided to crowd around me and attack me, hitting me with books, chairs and whatever they could get a hold of. I remember coming home crying and locking myself in my room, then asking God why at such a young age, I was exposed to such a tormenting lifestyle,” he continued.

Things got to the point where Jesus contemplated giving up.

“Entering middle school, the bullying worsened, leading to suicidal thoughts and disbelief in religion. To make matters worse, I had to deal with my parents’ divorce,” wrote Jesus, whose family often lived in fear of a father’s rage.

Luckily, Jesus found Youth First Texas.

“When I first came to Youth First Texas I asked myself how everyone could be so united like one big family and so easily welcomed strangers into the group. I have met very few people like the youth at this organization that accept others for who they are, and aren’t prejudice or judgmental of one’s physical appearance or background. I can now proudly say that I am part of this wonderful organization that helps our youth to overcome life’s challenges while learning to love themselves. I have come to realize the cause of such success of this organization. It is thanks to the marvelous work and commitment of Judith Dumont and Bob Miskinis that many youth have managed to overcome their fears and find love and support provided by people who give time out of their personal lives to help out in any way possible, and listen to ones problems without being judged,” wrote Jesus.

And Youth First Texas found a born leader.

“I also owe it to Youth First for getting accepted to join the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network Jump-Start 2008-2009 National Leadership Team. With the help from both Bob and Judith, I learned of this seminar which gives young and highly motivated people the opportunity to acquire the leadership skills needed in order to successfully help out in our communities. I can proudly say I am one out of 40 students’ nationwide selected out of more than 600 applicants to be Texas‘s Jump Start Student Organizer. Soon to be a first generation high school graduate and college bound, this was also my first time out of state and on a plane,” added Jesus.

Folks, this is one young man who made it. I applaud his courage to share his story with me and giving me permission to share it with the world. I embrace his zest for life. I wrap my heart around Youth First for being there for this kid.

Youth First did its job. Now it is time for us to step up to the plate.

LULAC 4871 - The Dallas Rainbow Council has selected Jesus for its first-ever scholarship fund drive.

I hope you can join me for a benefit show for Jesus this Sunday, May 17, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., at Kaliente Night Club, located at 4350 Maple Avenue, Dallas, TX 75219.

There will be a mixer from 10 p.m. to Midnight. A benefit drag show from Midnight to 2 a.m. featuring the hottest Latin talent in the area. All tips collected by our female impersonators that night will be donated to the cause and Kaliente Manager Alberto Rey has agreed to match every dollar collected during the show.

If you can’t attend but want to contribute $10, $20 or $50 for Jesus’ books, school supplies or computer, send me an email (jesse.garcia@ stonewalldemocra tsofdallas. org) and I will meet you to collect.

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