ESS Region 7: Gysselle Bibiano

September 7, 2020
ESS Region 7: Gysselle Bibiano.
Editor’s note: ACSA’s video series profiling the winners of the Every Student Succeeding awards program was impacted by COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions. Each week, EdCal will feature Q&A interviews with all 19 winners from each ACSA region. In addition, there will be video stories of the students whose footage was completed before the pandemic. Watch for these videos to premiere on ACSA’s YouTube channel and ACSA’s Facebook page this fall.  Grade: 12 School: Argonaut High School District: Amador County USD ACSA region: 7 Gysselle Bibiano has defied and exceeded expectations since she was born. The now 18-year-old was pronounced dead at birth. She was resuscitated and intubated for nearly 12 hours. At six months old, doctors told Gysselle’s mother, Vanessa Gutierrez, that Gysselle had cerebral palsy and ataxia and may never walk or talk. But Gysselle did both. “She told me I would walk and talk, and I listened to her,” she said of her mother at an awards ceremony. At Argonaut High School in Jackson, Gysselle volunteered in the campus’ special education preschool class. After one of the preschool students died, Gysselle led an effort to raise $9,600 for a memorial playground. She also organized a “mini-prom” for special education students last year who were unable to attend the school’s prom. She became the first graduate from the Marilyn Triglia Education Center at Argonaut. Gysselle plans to attend Columbia College in Sonora and become a special education teacher. “Gysselle is the most remarkable story I have ever been a part of,” said Argonaut High School principal Troy Gassaway. “She has been in the Amador Unified School District for over 12 years and has been supported by ACSA members at Jackson Elementary and Jackson Middle School. It truly took a village to get her where she is today.” What are your hobbies and interests? My favorite subject in school was math because it was the easiest, and I’m actually really good with money. The hardest class was Mr. Duggan’s English class, which was a college prep class. Even though it was hard, I really enjoyed it. When I wasn’t working hard for school, I spent my time taking drama in school and outside of school. I also did track and field and I was part of the Latinx Club. Working for Little Ponies is also an important part of my senior year. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to get where you are today? The biggest obstacle I’ve had is learning how to accept that not everyone is accepting of me and my disability. I try really hard to be “normal,” and I’m really good at doing things on my own; it just takes me a little longer. What educator helped you along the way and how did they help you? Roseanne is one of the aids at Triglia, and for my four years at Argonaut High School, she pushed me to do my best, she encouraged me to try harder and she motivated me to get to my goal. For that, I will forever be thankful to her. What advice would you have for students facing similar situations? My advice to other students like me is to never give up. If you put your mind to it, you can do it! Winning this award is proof that it doesn’t matter the obstacles given to me throughout my lifetime. If I set a goal and work really hard to accomplish it, I will definitely reach it. Thank you to everyone who believed in me and pushed me throughout the years. I am grateful for having people who also believe in me as strongly as I believe in myself. 

Every Student Succeeding winners overcome the odds

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