AudioEsmaeili remembers the days when he would tell Roma students, you don’t have to work in the fields

You have to really love what you do in order for a student to believe you, says STC’s dean of math, science and bachelor programs.

MCALLEN, Texas – When South Texas College’s dean of math and science, Dr. Ali Esmaeili, taught at Roma High School many years ago he was saddened by the lack of ambition of his students.

When he asked them what they wanted to do, they would say, “graduate from high school and then help my parents in the field.”

Determined to change the life trajectory of his students and their families, Esmaeili started giving his charges titles. It was Doctora Maria and Ingeniero Jesus. He wanted them to believe they could go to college and pursue a professional career. Today, high school principals come up to Esmaeili and thank him for helping them achieve their career goals.

“I always tell our faculty if you think your students will become a doctor, they will become a doctor. It is up to us as a teacher; that we believe that student can achieve that,” Esmaeili said.

“You have heard the phrase, you are what you eat. With me it is, they will become what they think they can become.”

Esmaeili added: “You have to start telling them you have the potential to become that. But, you have to really love what you do in order for a student to believe you. When I tell a student, I want you to be whatever you want to be, but I want to tell you, I will be next to you to achieve that. And they believe me because they know I mean business.”

In the audio interview below Dr. Esmaeili looks back at his days as a teacher at Roma High School.

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