couldn’t talk with the other children, so it was
difficult to make friends. However, she fondly
Gomez, a mass
recalls excelling at sports during recess, so
the other children fought over having her on
and volleyball player at the University of South Florida, is a time man-
agement maven, but she wasn’t always good at spending her time wisely.
Rodriguez Gomez moved from Venezuela to the United States when she was 10 years old. Her childhood in Venezuela was stable until her family was forced to leave under President Chávez’ rule.
Because she struggled to learn English, Rodriguez Gomez also struggled throughout middle school and high school. This effected her confidence so she felt academics were not a priority and she focused on her strengths. Volleyball became her passion and during her senior year she contacted 50-to-75 schools, hoping for a spot on one of their teams. Coaches from USF attended a game to watch her play. When the game ended, Rodriguez Gomez extended her hand to greet them, but the coach hugged her instead. She felt
When Rodriguez Gomez arrived in the U.S.,
welcome and knew USF was going to be her
she didn’t speak English and had to learn
everyday words using pictures and memorization, while her classmates had standard assignments. She felt alienated and frustrated because she
Rodriguez Gomez began her studies at USF during the summer of 2010. It is mandatory for new athletes to start early. This helps them to start working out to progressively get in shape
FALL 2012 THE BULLHORN 19
University of South Florida School of Mass Communications alumni magazine