celebrate education - brought to you by the amarillo globe-news

Student in foster care strives to become nurse

By Kevin Welch

Emily Salvador is ready to be a nurse.

Well, not quite yet, but she's ready to get on with life.

"I really want to take the classes I need to and become a nurse as soon as possible," said the 17-year-old River Road student.

She developed an independent streak that pushed her through high school after living in group homes and a foster home for years.

"I've been in foster care since I was 13. It's been really stressful," she said.

"The hardest part was being split up from my brother."

Emily's foster mother died May 12. But she had already intended to live at High Plains Children's Home for the summer.

While she is already getting college credit for some of her schoolwork, she will start full time at Amarillo College this fall and begin training to be a certified nurse's assistant in June to earn money while at AC.

She will graduate from River Road one year early after making the decision to change her ways.

Schools placed her in different disciplinary programs, but at the end of her freshman year, things changed. Now, she's come to expect top grades instead of in-school suspension.

"I hated school and didn't really try," Salvador said. "I work a lot harder now. I only had one 'B' this year, and that was in chemistry. I got an 89."

Now Salvador is taking two classes each in English, math and history on top of dual-credit courses for high school and college in medical terminology and U.S. history.

She is a member of the National Honor Society, the vice president of student council and Spanish Club president.

Salavador's desire to become an obstetrical/gynecological nurse practitioner motivates her.

Emily "is just a great student with a wonderful enthusiasm for life and what it brings to her," said Kim Franks, the River Road district nurse.

"She has overcome the odds of the 'system,' if you will, and has set her standards high and achieved every goal she has set for herself."

Editor's note: Beating the Odds is a series published in the Amarillo Globe-News from May 10-24 that tells the stories of all kinds of students who are graduating despite challenges they've faced. It is part of Celebrate Education, a program designed to bring awareness to the need of educational attainment in the Texas Panhandle.

calendar of events
  • January 11
    Kickoff of 2009 Program
    Find out what Celebrate Education is all about in this special section in your Sunday paper.
  • March 7
    Regional Spelling Bee, West Texas A&M University
    The annual Regional Spelling Bee will feature the top spellers from the Amarillo area. The top five winners will receive scholarship money ranging from $500 to $5,000 and the winner will travel to Washington, D.C., in June to represent the area in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Spring and Fall
    Amarillo Reads community-wide reading projects.
    Dates and details TBA
  • April
    Amarillo Education Matching Grants Program. Exact date TBA
  • April 10
    What's a Kid to Do Special Section
  • April 12
    What's a Kid to Do at the Amarillo Civic Center
    This event will focus on activities and camps for children to participate in during the summer..
  • May 8-29
    Beating the Odds
    A series of stories published daily in the Amarillo Globe-News during the graduation season that profiles people who have inspiring stories to tell about the degree they are about to receive.
  • May 12
    Ready for the Real World program at Amarillo Civic Center
    AISD juniors get training on what's going to face them in a little more than a year.
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Special Section
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Event at West Texas A&M University
  • Fall
    Discover College Day
    Fifth graders from area schools visit college campuses.
  • October 1
    Great Jobs Special Section
    Focusing on well paying jobs available in the area that people may not know about.
  • November 2
    Career Education Special Section
    Focusing on businesses and others in the community helping young people gain a career vision.
  • November
    Yes You Can Event
    Designed to help people gain information about the next level of education from GED to PhD. Date TBA.
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