A Dream Realized: Inspirational Journey as a First-Generation Graduate

Graduating Senior

For Genesis Landaverde-Gomez, the path to graduation has been paved with determination, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to seizing every opportunity. As the first in her family to earn a high school diploma and pursue higher education, her journey is a testament to the transformative power of dedication and the support of a strong community.

Aimee Gervacio, one of Genesis's AVID teachers, witnessed firsthand the organizational prowess and laser-focused mindset that propelled Genesis to success. "She's incredibly organized and always on top of her work; her focus on assignments and attention to detail has served her well as she continues to excel in her classes."

This drive coupled with an insatiable curiosity set Genesis apart from her classmates. As Gervacio noted, "She has a curious mindset and seeks to learn new things and is open to different experiences. Everything she's done up to this point in her life has brought her to this point and has ensured that she's more than ready for this new chapter."

"Genesis is a proactive student with an admirable work ethic," praised Ms. Corin Uviedo, Genesis's nursing teacher. "She is laser focused on becoming a nurse, and has vocalized it since day one in my class." This singular drive propelled Genesis to excel, honing essential skills like taking vitals and assisting residents during clinical rotations.

Uviedo highlighted Genesis's collaborative spirit: "She frequently provides additional assistance and feedback for her peers." It's this innate compassion that will serve Genesis well in her chosen field. "She has an excellent bedside manner in the clinical setting," Uviedo remarked.

Nicole Borghard, another AVID teacher, saw Genesis's caring nature shine through. "Genesis is incredibly caring and genuine. When I taught her, she would always take time out of her classwork to come up and see how I was doing," remarked Nicole Borghard. Even after no longer having Borghard as an instructor, Genesis regularly checks in, a testament to her compassionate nature that will undoubtedly serve her well as a future nurse.

It is this caring spirit, coupled with an indomitable work ethic, that has defined Genesis's high school career. It was in Borghard's leadership class where she witnessed Genesis "blossom as a leader within the school community," taking on roles like New Student Ambassador and Hispanic Leadership Club member. "As an AVID teacher, Genesis's success story is the epitome of what we are hoping to accomplish through the program," Borghard said.

Yamalie Rodriguez Figueroa, the Hispanic Leadership Club sponsor, echoed similar sentiments: "She was an amazing asset to our club. She kept her cool and showed up every single time, helping me tremendously." Whether it was organizing meetings, choreographing dances, or coordinating appreciation gifts, Genesis's dedication made an impact on the HLC.

Genesis in classYet, Genesis's journey was not without its challenges. "Being a first-generation student, I had to navigate the college application process entirely on my own. There were times when I felt lost and overwhelmed, but I refused to give up," she recalled. Her resilience, instilled by her parents' own sacrifices, sustained her through the obstacles.

It was her mother who emerged as Genesis's guiding light. "My mom has always been the one to keep us going. She's the reason where my dad is now because before, he was struggling," she shared.

Even when Genesis fell short for the prestigious Posse Scholarship, her mother encouraged her to seek other opportunities like the Akerson Family Foundation award. It was this resilience and tenacity that caught the eye of Liberty's Promise sponsor Barou Yoblo. Yoblo vividly recalled Genesis's unwavering commitment, attending every meeting, driven by "her proactive approach towards achieving her goals." 

The $40,000 Liberty's Promise scholarship not only rewarded Genesis's efforts but opened doors to George Mason University. As she prepares to pursue nursing, her passion for pediatrics fueled by clinicals and a meeting with a NICU nurse, Genesis carries the lessons of her journey.

"If you really want it, you'll put the work in and you'll go get it," she advised, echoing the sentiment of her biggest cheerleader - her mother. With the care and leadership skills honed at West Potomac, Genesis is proof that with dedication and support, any obstacle can be overcome. Her story stands as an inspiration, reminding all that the greatest accomplishments often arise through perseverance, dedication, and an unwavering belief in oneself.