First, I apologize in advance for the typos, writing this was extremely difficult…
Here’s the funny thing about dreams. They consume you, they open portals in your persona that you never though existed. They are the driving force to the unknown, they drive the car to the road trip, they pay the flights to the dream vacation. They are your dreams after all. The bigger you dream, the harder you search, the bigger the conquest. Dreams have no limits; the limit does not exist. They have no roof, no foundation, they become the substance, the purpose.
I have dreamed, multiple times in my life. But this is written in the hopes that I can describe this feeling that now is the driving force of my dream. My dream of becoming someone with purpose, someone with worth, someone of character and willing to serve. An advocate of social justice, the belief system, the guidance that fostered my dreams to begin with. Mr. Massato this one is for you, because I know you are watching over me in heaven so proud of me right now. You were there for me guiding me when I needed you the most and it was all because you saw in me, what I couldn’t see in myself at the time. You guided me into my dreams, and I will forever be grateful to you and for allowing me to dream even when my family wouldn’t. I love you so much, it is still hard to believe you are gone.
Mr. Massato was more than just my crazy, what started off as my typing teacher. I walked into his room this annoying, attitude consumed misguided teenager ready to resist him every way that I knew humanely possible. I walked out of there a dreamer, a leader, someone who knew purpose and was ready to work 115% harder for what I wanted. He was the reason I went to class, he was there for me when I changed my mind about one thousand times picking colleges, when I chose my “dream school” and when when I discovered hidden treasure in my second choice. I dreamt of walking the halls of New Paltz as an undergraduate, but Mr. Massato although he supported me he wanted me to explore my options at home because of my situation at home. When I mentioned Queens College to him initially he urged me to check it out. I was stubborn at first but I decided to go and see it for myself. I can’t even begin to explain the feeling I got when I walked into the Queens College campus, till this day I can’t fully describe it.
The closest I come is always the breeze that touched the side of my face and brushed away the curls in my face. That feeling of entitlement and the feeling of holding and grasping a dream, and having no control over how big this dream was about to unleash. I come from a broken home, but that day I found home. When I came across Queens College that day, I truly found the love of my life and the staircase to my dreams. I opened the vault to my opportunities, I found the precious jewel. I remember going back to Massato the next day and he was already one step ahead of me, with the CUNY application ready to go. I only applied to Queens College that day, and I got in. As my dreams came alive at Queens College I was blessed with breathtaking opportunities, amazing best friends and a beautiful sorority, and Mr. Massato still partaking in my dreams of being a teacher. He saw me struggle but was always there for me. I remember reconsidering my teacher career because it wasn’t what I was passionate about and he walked me to speak to an intern at the school guidance counselor room, and I felt the feeling I felt at Queens College all over again. I immediately dropped my education major and pursued other things because I wanted to be a guidance counselor.
It becomes more and more clear each day that, that is exactly what I want. In my job, my high school kids make my day. I love to see their faces when I tell them that everything starts with dreaming and they will accomplish anything. I also promise to guide them every step of the way. Fordham like New Paltz was my dream school, and I actually went to visit about two weeks ago. Today, I walked into my home, not Fordham. Today I woke up remembering I had RSVP’d to the Brooklyn College Open House and I woke up with Massato’s voice in my head and what he told me before I visited Queens College. Although I had a long day at work, I made it my business to go, and once again I discovered home. I entered a place and I felt like I felt Massato give me the hug because I found it once again, my sense of belonging and the feeling that he instilled in me in being UNSTOPABLE ALWAYS. I felt Massato and the Queens College feeling again. I found home.
Mr. Massato you will always a huge impact in my life, because you showed me love, courage, strength and you instilled in me that I was a leader and I was going to take over the world despite the fact that I will face adversity and set backs. You made me cultivate my dreams. Feeling your presence just made it a reality. I will dedicate my Masters Degree to you. Hopefully Brooklyn College will become my home in Fall 2017. I miss you, continue being King Ugly up there in heaven because you are truly missed down here in the real world. Thank you & I love you always!