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Graduate Essays - Karina Hernandez Flores: Whatever you want from life, you will be capable of reaching it

Graduation Cap

A few ECC graduates share what this achievement means to them

Tags: Accomplishment | Commencement | Graduation Essays | Student Profile
Published 05/18/2022
Karina Hernandez Flores, Spring 2022 ECC Graduate

Karina Hernandez Flores, Spring 2022 ECC Graduate

Did you have a chance to stop and think about what you want from life? It might be one of the most challenging questions that someone can answer. As a mother of eight children, my immediate answer is “to be a good mom,” but a question behind that answer resonated in my mind: “How to become that good mom that my children need?” Then I realized that what I needed was to understand who I am.

There were a lot of obstacles before I could consider what I wanted, and that was to graduate from college. It seemed almost unreachable, not just because I have eight children, but because it represented picking up broken pieces of myself to reach what I wanted. After surviving many years of domestic violence, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, building myself anew to overcome those years, and praying to God, I decided to open the door at ECC and not forget those difficult times. Each semester I would think about just giving up but receiving the help and advice from this wonderful school and extraordinary teachers; I can’t believe I am here writing this and almost walking the stage of my graduation.

I am convinced that there is a point in everyone’s life at which it is necessary to evaluate our circumstances, our decisions, our scars, and our pain to wake up, let it go, and look to the future. You have to give thanks for where you are today and believe that whatever you want from life, you will be capable of reaching it and inspiring others.

I want to give my kids a special thanks for those days when mommy wasn’t completely there, to my son Jake, who always encouraged me not to give up. To Professor Glen Earl from my start at ECC, and to Dr. Liddy Hope and Dr. Joseph Rosenfeld for believing in me during times when I could not. And to fellow students like me for generations to come.

Karina Hernandez Flores '22
Human Services Generalist – Vocational Specialist Certificate
Elgin, Ill.

Visit the ECC Graduate Essays webpage for more graduate stories.