Someone 2 Know: Mabel Sedano - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Someone 2 Know: Mabel Sedano

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At Sparks High School, Spanish teacher Cesar Garcia tells it like it is.

"Sometimes, I'm not very politically correct," Garcia admits.  
If his students are not doing well, he's not afraid to be honest. 

"I tell my students how good they are, or how bad they are," said Garcia. 
Last year, in one of his classes a student stood out. 
"She's a diamond," Garcia said, 'not in the rough,' but a diamond."
That diamond was Mabel Sedano. Garcia says Mabel isn't just good at Spanish... 
"Practically she's the leader."
Mabel's parents are from Guadalajara, and she grew up in a Spanish speaking house. It was low-income too.
"My dad, at one point, worked three jobs," said Mabel. "My mom was a maid."
Mabel is the first one in her family to graduate high school, and go to college. 
"Yeah," she proudly said. "It's huge."
Her mom stressed the importance of going to school, even giving Mabel homework during summer break. 
"Coming from a low-income family, my mom wanted me to do great things," Mabel remembered. "My mom would tell me education is the way to become great."
She surpassed great, and is now the school's valedictorian, with 4.99 G.P.A. The possibilities for Mabel are endless.
"People wanted me to be a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer." 
However, because school played such an important role in her success, Mabel had something else in mind.
"He (Garcia) was the first to believe that I could be a teacher," she said, fighting back tears.  

"In life, you have to do, whatever you want to do," said Garcia. That was the advice he gave his student. "You cannot live with 'what if?'"
"He told me to go for it," she said. "Garcia knew that I could be anything I want to be."

That quick conversation changed Mabel, and Garcia too. 

"I don't think kids listen to me as much as I would like, but in this case Mabel was listening."

Mabel will attend the University of Nevada to study education. After she graduates, she hopes to stay in Washoe County, and eventually work her way up to a school administrator. 

Mabel's story is part of the Washoe County School District's Countdown to Graduation, where they share the inspiring stories of 17 graduating students. Click here to go to the school district's Countdown to Graduation webpage

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