The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

First of Seven

By Michael Jimenez
It’s far from a Disney movie fairytale ending, but here Krystal Nicole Escamilla is about to realize a family dream that extends back generations. She is about to become a college graduate. If you recount generations past, these last four years may be pivotal to the future of  the Escamilla family.“I’m really excited to finally finish and get my bachelor’s degree, but I’m not going to stop there.  I plan on pursing my master’s degree, and who knows maybe even a Ph.D,” Escamilla said.

Escamilla , a first-generation student, completed her associate’s degree at Palo Alto College with a 4.0 GPA.  At Texas A&M-San Antonio she is an honor student in psychology and  hopes to pursue a master’s degree at Texas A&M-San Antonio.

The youngest of three siblings, Krystal Escamilla was born in San Antonio, but was raised in Lytle, Texas.  Her father was an immigrant from Mexico. He met Escamilla’s mother, Joann Cuellar, after settling in San Antonio. The couple had three children.

Escamilla recalls her father and mother both became involved in illegal activities while she and her siblings were just children.  Her father was caught with methamphetamines and was sentenced to prison. Her mother was exonerated from the chargers and continued to raise Escamilla and her brothers in Lytle.  Her mother eventually divorced her father when she was very little, and he was never again a part of her life.

Escamilla’s mother later remarried and she developed a supportive relationship with her step-father, Pete.  But when Escamilla was a junior in high school, her mother had an affair, and ended the marriage when she ran off and not only abandoned her husband, but left behind her daughter as well.

“Not only did I not have a relationship with my father, but I was abandoned by my mother when I was in high school.  I felt alone and was really hurt by my mother,” Escamilla said.

With the support of her grandparents, she persevered and battled through what she described as light depression and financial difficulties.  After graduation, she wanted to get as far away from home as possible. To distance herself and to create new opportunity, she attended Louisiana State University.

For Escamilla, tuition was costly at an out-of-state institution. She rushed through the application process for student loans to cover the tuition, without reading much of the fine print.  Her grandparents were fearful of her being so far away from home. They intervened and encouraged her to move back to Texas.  It turned out to be a smart move for Escamilla who needed support to finish school.  Her grandparents offered her financial support and financial advice on her student loans.

“If it was not by my family support, I would not be who I am today. I’m thankful for them and all that they do for me,” Escamilla said.

Loving support from her family inspired and motivated her to complete school.  She has made no excuses along the way, and with grit and determination says she is on the cusp of success.  She hopes to become the first of seven grandchildren to graduate from college.

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