From Mexico And Texas To Indianapolis: 'My First Thought Was "I Can't Do It'"
Corps member Adriana Huerta (Indy '17) was born in Mexico, grew up in Texas and Mexico, and has moved around quite a bit. Being placed in Indianapolis put her out of her comfort zone, but with resilience, courage, personal alignment with TFA's mission and vision, and the support of the TFA-Indy community, her corps journey has cultivated positivity and appreciation.
November 17, 2017
I remember moving being almost a natural thing to me since I was young. I was born in Mexico; more precisely, in a small city called Ciudad Victoria in the state of Tamaulipas, which borders Texas. When I was in elementary, my family and I moved from my hometown to McAllen, Texas; two years later, we went back to Mexico, and five years later, we migrated back to the United States. Four years later, I moved six hours away from home for college. During that period, I also spent some time abroad, which helped me enjoy changing settings and moving frequently.
However, when I ﬁrst read the e-mail that told me I had been placed in Indianapolis, my ﬁrst thought was "I can't do it." Even though my values aligned perfectly with Teach For America's mission and vision, and despite the fact that I was used to a somewhat transient life, this time was different. My father had suffered his second heart attack two years ago and during that time, l was responsible for everything related to his medical care. Coming from a culture that is very famin-oriented, it was very hard to move away from my loved ones, especially since I was not going to be able to drive home at least once a month like I did during college. In addition to the distance, one the most critical factor that was preventing me from accepting to join the corps and moving to Indianapolis was my family's economic situation derived from my father's condition.
As a ﬁrst generation student who attended college on a full scholarship, I wanted to give back to young students in our country and inspire them to pursue their dreams. I really did not want to give up this great opportunity because of my ﬁnancial status. Therefore, it was not until after talking to my recruiter, who informed me that I qualified for financial support for my transition, that l was able to accept my offer.
At first, l was both, very thrilled and nervous, to move to a cityl had never been to. The support from my recruiter in Texas, the TFA-Indy director of incoming corps, Ricky Ritter, and the TFA-Indy executive director, Amar Patel, were pivotal throughout the entire process of accepting my offer and moving to Indiana. Amar and Ricky always showed their support by reaching out through email and phone calls just to make sure I did not have any questions regarding the application process, my transition, and really about anything. They also shared their own experiences in the corps with me, which made me feel like they understood my questions and concerns. Whenever they did not have an answer for me, there was always someone they connected me to that could help me.
When I ﬁrst arrived to Indianapolis for Induction, I fell in love with its landscape. The city has many parks and green areas that blend perfectly with its buildings. I also noticed that the city is surrounded by gorgeous countryside, and is close to many quaint farm towns and national parks. Personally, besides its yummy food, one of the city's best features is that as big as Indianapolis has become it still maintains its smaII-town values when it comes to friendliness, hospitality, and plain old good vibes. Although Indiana is completely different from Texas, Mexico, and all the other places I have visited and lived in, I love learning and discovering new things in town every weekend. There's always so much to do!
“As a ﬁrst generation student who attended college on a full scholarship, I wanted to give back to young students in our country and inspire them to pursue their dreams.”
Although teaching is a never-ending cycle of learning, being a ﬁrst grade educator in Indianapolis has been a very enjoyable experience thanks to all the support I have received from TFA staff as well as the staff at my placement school. Forming relationships with my students and others in my school has been the highlight of my time in Indy, for sure. I am eager to spend the rest of my time in such an incredible city.