Delgado Twins Graduate from WTC
05/25/16, 08:54:59 AM
Nine years ago, fraternal twins Andrés and Andrea Delgado moved to Texas from Mexico without knowing a word of English.
Nearly nine years later, they are poised to graduate from Western Texas College as honor students.
The Delgado twins grew up in the Nayarit state of Mexico, where they were raised by their mother, Teresa Carpena, who is also a twin. In the summer of 2007, they moved to the Austin area, before the twins' sixth grade year.
Andrea said it was tough on her mother, who raised the twins and their younger sister Gila, by herself. Money was tight and Carpena was often at work, meaning the twins were left to do things for themselves.
"Money was pretty tight and mom was gone a lot," Andrea Delgado said. "My mom always told us all she wanted for us was what she didn't have, and that was an education."
Determined to get an education, the twins learned English by engrossing themselves in the culture and observing the surroundings. It was not easy at first, but Andrea Delgado said it helped having her brother by her side.
"I think one of the greatest blessings is we deal with things at the same time because we are the same age," she said. "We didn't know any English when we got to America, but we went through it together. As long as you're exposed to a language, you'll learn it. I know I still make mistakes, but that's normal."
The twins graduated from Leander High School and were set to attend Tarleton State University in Stephenville, but a miscommunication concerning financial aid left them feeling uncertain about their future.
Their stepfather had moved to Snyder six months prior to their high school graduation. When they learned there was a community college in Snyder, and knowing their parents would be living there, the twins decided to apply at WTC.
"We were a little unlucky with Tarleton, but I think it was fate for us to end up here," Andrea Delgado said.
The twins didn't have much time to adapt to West Texas, moving to Snyder one week before the start of classes.
Andrés Delgado said he was shy when he started, but has gained confidence through the support of his teachers and his involvement in student government and the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
"WTC has taught me to be more confident in my academic skills," he said. "I feel like I've changed for the better."
The twins said they have enjoyed the small campus atmosphere and the relationships between the students and faculty.
Andrea Delgado, who was also involved in Phi Theta Kappa and is an Honor Code Ambassador, said she liked the ability to communicate with teachers, and even school president Dr. Barbara Beebe, anytime of the day.
"The one thing I'm most grateful for is it's allowed me to create networking," she said. "I was able to approach Dr. Beebe about a recommendation letter. I think the smaller campus also allows teachers to get to know the students better and see their potential."
The twins each earned a 4.0 grade point average this year. Andrés Delgado is currently majoring in business administration and hopes to specialize in finance.
Andrea Delgado chose to major in nursing because she has been interested in science, specifically the human body. She said medical school is "probably unattainable right now" financially, but said she would like to study and eventually teach neuroscience.
"Anywhere I go with a nursing degree, I would have a good chance of getting hired," she said.
Both twins will earn their associate's degrees on Friday and plan to go to the same school next year. They applied at Angelo State, Texas Tech and Midwestern State, though they have not made a final decision.
Wherever they go, they plan to share an apartment and remain together. Andrea Delgado said she takes pride in getting her degree, especially with her twin by her side.
"Knowing how a lot of people thought we would not make it this far, it makes me proud," she said. "It tells me we're halfway there to a bachelor's degree, and no one can take that away."
Both said they are proud to represent their Mexican heritage and grateful they have accomplished a milestone together. Andrés Delgado said he is proud to have her by his side.
"I'm doing something other people haven't done, and that motivates me," Andrés Delgado said. "We push each other academically and we're there for each other. Even though we fight sometimes, we're always there for each other and not everybody has that."
Reprinted with permission from the Snyder Daily News