Success and Self Confidence in Zapata, Texas
As a young child, Triana Guerra-Flores of Zapata, Texas was
diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a serious eye condition
that leads to progressive loss of sight. Her deteriorating
vision caused her to encounter numerous problems in school.
Throughout her public education, her family had to fight
attempts by the local school district to label her as a special
Despite these difficulties, she successfully graduated with distinction (cum laude) in the top ten percent of her high school class and made the decision to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.
Determined to achieve her goal, she contacted the DARS Division for Blind Services (DBS) and applied for vocational rehabilitation services. Working with her VR counselor in preparation for college, Triana received substantial counseling and career guidance services as well as specialized orientation and mobility training and comprehensive assistive technology training.
When Triana was accepted for college, her DBS counselor helped her apply for tuition exemption. Triana worked hard to keep up with her coursework and make good grades. At the beginning of each semester, DBS helped her purchase the required books and supplies she needed for her upcoming classes and helped her arrange for the reader services she needed to complete her reading, library research, and other academic assignments.
Triana was persistent and dedicated to reaching her goal. She stayed in close contact with her counselor for ongoing counseling and guidance services and, as graduation grew closer, she began working with DBS specialists from the Employment Assistance Services unit.
With a bachelor's degree in her hand, Triana decided to apply for an opening with the local school district in her hometown. Today, Triana is 24 years old and employed as a kindergarten teacher with the Zapata Independent School District.
In addition to living her childhood dream of becoming a teacher, Triana also speaks at public engagements with her mother and is currently pursuing her master's degree.