SAN ANTONIO – Just a few short years ago, the future was uncertain for Jahsiah Gonzales.
The coronavirus pandemic had thrown him a curveball in the form of the unexpected loss of his father.
“Because of covid--he had covid--we couldn’t go (to the hospital) and everything. I wasn’t able to see him. So that just really ate me up,” he said. “I was really bottled up and I really didn’t show my emotions.”
Gonzales had always shared a special relationship with his father, who coached him through life and counseled him through various sports, including football.
After his death, the teen felt like it was up to him to care for his family. As a result, he says, his schoolwork began to suffer.
“My mom, she was really on me about my grades,” Gonzales said. “She was really, she was pushing me.”
Cynthia Mendiola agrees, saying she worried for a while that her son might not make it through high school.
“It was hard, you know, but he came around. He’s a great guy,” she said. “I’m proud of him. I know he’s going to do well.”
Gonzales also feels a lot better now about his future. He has plans to attend UTSA in the fall to study architecture.
One big regret he has, though, is that his father won’t be at his side for graduation.
“I realize he’s not here and I’m not going to be able to celebrate this moment with him,” he said. “I just hope he’s proud of me.”