Archive | Determination RSS feed for this section

The Right Kind of Stress

5 Mar

fwrgrfrFor the last three and a half years, I have been asking myself if it is wise to be so involved in college.

So involved that it takes a toll on your health, schoolwork, and relationships. I find myself at the breaking point some weeks, but I still wake up at 8:00am, shuttle myself to school, and work until the job is done. Day after day, week after week.

Many of my friends have time to go home during the afternoon and do nothing for a few hours. The less time I have, the more appealing the idea of leisurely TV watching becomes.

Why can’t I just drop everything I’m involved in when I’m overwhelmed?

Why is it so hard for me to say, “No, I can’t take on that task?”

Why can’t I just ignore the world’s needs and do what I want to do – which is go watch TV on a Wednesday afternoon in my pajamas and eat some cheese and wheat thins.


Because I find deep satisfaction in what I do. There’s a sense of happiness in working for others, a sense of joy that comes from putting in hard work. I have resolved that no matter what, I’m still going to get up at 8:00am, shuttle my butt up to school, and get work done.

Bottom line, people make me happy.

I’m lucky to be stressed out. I’m lucky that I have people who trust me enough to do hard work and take on stressful tasks. I’m fortunate that I’m able to take on these tasks and maintain a good GPA with the love of great friends and amazing family who are supportive of my endeavors and so helpful during my cry-fests.

I feel like I just did a 360 turn. I’m stressed. I’m happy. I’m happy, because I’m stressed. Just call me a girl, I guess. Full of emotions!

Seriously though, I am fortunate to be involved. The happiness I have earned from being involved has made me a strong, independent woman who pushes herself to take on endeavors, be bold and try new things.


_C9A5957Vanessa Cortez is a Senior from Harlingen, Texas. She is obtaining Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Political Science. Vanessa has served in leadership roles in various organizations on campus including College Republicans, Student Organizations Council, and Student Foundation. As the current Student Body President for Texas State University, she is very passionate about serving the students and university. She hopes to bring a positive impact to campus during her administration and encourages students to utilize ASG as a resource to improve Texas State University.


Stelos Superstar: Meghan Bates

27 Nov


Meghan Bates

If you run into Meghan Bates anywhere, you’re bound to receive a wave, a huge smile, and an accompanying hug from this spunky young woman..

Meghan was eager to learn each Housley session – she wasn’t afraid to question herself and her motivations, and she was able to grow because of it. Meghan was always willing to share how the program was shaping the goals she created for herself.

Throughout the program Meghan focused on honing in on her passions, and was able to create a clearer picture of her future. Following graduation, Meghan plans to become a public relations specialist or communications director specializing in branding and promotions.

Because of her dedication, Meghan was selected as one of four Housley Principled Leader Scholarship recipients. When we called Meghan’s name for her award, she stood up and humbly accepted the scholarship. She gave each of the program’s facilitators a tearful hug of gratitude, and expressed how much it meant to her to have others believe in her. Meghan said, “This scholarship helps secure my place as a Texas State Bobcat for another year! As Bill gave his last lecture to the group, I was completely overwhelmed with gratitude – and maybe a tear or two. It’s one thing when you believe in your own dreams, but it’s humbling when others see your dreams and invest in them, too.”

We are certainly glad we were able to invest in Meghan’s dreams and can’t wait to see what she does as a member of the Stelos family. It was a pleasure having Meghan in the Housley program. She is a Stelos superstar.

What Makes You Come Alive

6 Nov

My family just had one of those weekends – a period of time when things aren’t going right and, as you wallow in the problem, it perpetuates itself and gets worse.

My youngest daughter, Reese (10), plays on a very competitive soccer team that was expected to do very well this season. Things have not gone as planned; they lost two additional games this weekend and it seemed like the world was coming to an end.

My other daughter, Maddy (15), has been dealing with a nagging hamstring/hip flexor/knee thing for about a year and injured herself again on Saturday. Nothing career ending, but something that will require hard work, missed games and training to get over.

My girls were unhappy and hurting and I had no answers for either of them. While sitting in the doctor’s office with Maddy, for what seems like the hundredth time, I couldn’t focus on a solution, all I could see was trouble ahead.

Maddy said to me, “I think it is time I give up.” In that very moment, looking for the easy way out, I almost agreed with her. However, I heard a voice in my head say, “but does this make her come alive?” So instead of agreeing, I did not speak. She was waiting for my reply as tears rolled down her face. I wasn’t going to be the one to say, “I think it is time as well”, or “you have worked too hard, I will not let you quit.”

This couldn’t be my decision.

So I asked her, “Why do you play soccer?” She replied, “It is everything to me, it is who I am, and it is my passion and there is nothing I enjoy more.” I said, “Isn’t that worth fighting for? You can’t give up on what makes you come alive!”

She listened intently as the doctor laid out the plan for physical therapy. I could see she was ready to face the challenge once again. I soon found perspective and the troubles of the weekend faded away. My focus was once again where it should be and I am thankful that six words I passionately believe in came to me at right moment, “Does it make her come alive?” Without them, I fear we would be experiencing a much different outcome.

The idea comes from a quote by Howard Thurman, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

The philosophy of discovering what makes us come alive is one of the many key leadership concepts taught in the Housley Principled Leadership Program – and it’s a lesson I learn again and again.

So we begin again. Reese’s team has since calmed down and regrouped. We are focused on future games and challenges and not what has passed and can’t be changed. Maddy has spoken to all her coaches and teammates and received overwhelming support to do what she needs to do. She works hard daily to get back to the game she loves.

I am thankful for these experiences. They are not about soccer, but about preparing my children for life and challenges much harder than these. Enforcing that things worth having don’t come easy and when faced with adversity you don’t give up, especially on things that make you come alive!


Melinda is a 24/7 Mom. From 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday (and some weekends), she cares for the Stelos Alliance and all its scholarships and programs. Additionally, she makes sure the Kalypso family gets together to catch-up and have fun a few times throughout the year. With what is left, she does the same for her own family which includes a husband, two very active daughters Madison (15) and Reese (10) and Marcie (dog).

%d bloggers like this: