The NAF Academies of Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Graduate Testimonial: The Unexpected in My Life


                                                             The Unexpected in My Life

by: Sofia Tapias

John A. Ferguson Senior High

Academy of Education

Class of 2023


Life is a rollercoaster of unpredictable events, filled with unexpected happenings, changes in plans, and surprising results. One instance that came about in my life was when my Early Childhood teacher randomly called me in the middle of Walmart, where I was busy buying ingredients to bake cupcakes. This call not only changed the rest of my day but my future as well. It was the last day to write an essay for the “Ann Fields Education Scholarship”, and no one in my class had taken this opportunity. It was up to me to write an outstanding essay that could possibly win me that scholarship. I had 2 hours to get it done and send it out. I found myself excited but stressed, racing against time to write this essay.


As I ran to the self-checkout line, my teacher’s urgent request to write this essay was on repeat in my head. The thought of putting together a good essay in just 30 minutes seemed impossible but after grasping the idea that I was the one my teacher felt she could rely on, my determination kicked in. I did not hesitate to start gathering my thoughts and begin creating the outline for this essay while speeding safely home. My dream of becoming a pre-elementary teacher became the focus point of my essay which made writing it much easier. The clock started ticking. The second I opened my computer onto a blank Word document, my words just began flowing, pouring my heart into describing my passion for wanting to inspire and impact the lives of young children.


To my surprise, the unexpected phone call led to unexpected results a month later. Loudly through the speakers mounted above the stage the following announcement was made, “The Ann Fields Scholarship goes to Sofia Tapias”. My heart dropped. This meant that the scholarship committee loved my essay. I felt so many emotions running through my body but the one thing I paid attention to was the excitement on my mother’s face. Despite the little time I was given, my commitment of getting this done and being truly passionate about becoming a teacher shone through my writing. I received the scholarship, which not only provided me with money that could be used towards school but it also gave me the chance to meet well-known educators, such as Ann Fields; an educator of more than 30 years. This unexpected opportunity will never be forgotten, as it brought me closer to realizing that my dreams are meant for me.


Meeting Ann Fields and other educators was a life-changing experience for me. Their wisdom, guidance and encouragement established my want to pursue a career in education. As they all handed me their business cards and told me to keep in touch, I knew these unexpected connections would benefit me on my way to becoming a teacher. Because I chose to keep in contact with these professionals, they have passed down personal insight, knowledge, and inspiration that will make my journey easier, mentally and physically. I can proudly say I know all the tips and hacks to becoming a successful teacher; I am ahead of the game.


In conclusion, life is full of unexpected twists and turns, and it is up to me to take risks and opportunities that may benefit me. The random phone call in the middle of Walmart challenged me to think in the moment and to passionately express my aspirations without feeling any sense of doubt. Winning the scholarship and meeting experienced educators was the result of telling myself to take a chance and just write that essay. I use this experience as a reminder that unexpected happenings can lead me to unexpected outcomes which can make an impact in my life. After this occurrence, I will forever continue to embrace the unexpected as it has pushed me closer to any direction I have ever chosen to go in.