Perseverance and hard work lead the way to a successful life. But sometimes you need a little bit of motivation or inspiration to light up your way. At times, a simple belief is the only factor that stands between a person living their dreams and the person limiting themselves with what they have. Gabe Sonnier has worked as the Janitor at Port Barre Elementary for nearly 25 years.
It was until one day the school principal, Westley Jones took Gabe to the side and said, “Being a janitor is a good job and an honest living, but with my lessons on unlimited potential, I think you could serve the students better as an educator. I would like to see you grading papers rather than picking them up”.
The incident happened in 1985 and Gabe took the principal words to his heart. Jones’s words of belief in Gabe’s potential changed the direction of his life. He took Jones’s advice and decided to start studying. At the age of 39, he attends classes at Louisiana State University Eunice and the University of Louisiana. He has balanced his work along with his studies, he starts his work at Port Barre Elementary at 5 a.m. and continued till 7 a.m. and then he would go for his classes.
Later, after his night classes, he would return to his work. Finally, after a tiring day, he would go home and complete his homework. Through his continuous hard work, he graduated with an associate’s degree in 2006 from Louisiana State University Eunice. Later in 2008, he pursued his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Louisiana and that very year he got his first teaching job at Port Barre Elementary.
Following that he got his master’s from Arkansas State University. Finally, in 2013 he became the principal of the same school he had cleaned for nearly 27 years. All his hard work was rightly rewarded. To date, Gabe cleans his office on his own. According to Gabe, one must not define the future with the situation in present. He often says it’s not where you start it’s where you finish. Don’t let your present situation abstain you from chasing your dreams. No matter where you start, you must always find the way to reach your goal.
As there is a saying where there is a will there is a way. Believe in yourself and launch a journey to bring out the best in you. Ignite your spirit and never underestimate your capabilities. Believe in yourself and have dedication with pride – never quit on your struggle and you will be the winner ultimately. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards. You can be whoever you want to be in your life if you put your mind to it. Once your dream is coupled with your hard work and belief you are sure to reach heights.