Rae Trujillo of Longmont, Colorado recently took to Facebook to share her inspiring story about achieving her dreams and not letting anything hold her back in life. Much to her surprise, her post quickly went viral, inspiring people all over the globe!
Rae had a rough childhood growing up, as her family was poor and her parents did not think she would amount to anything.
“When I was a kid my mom told me I was a mistake,” Rae wrote. “When I was 13 my dad said I was trash. When I was 15 my English teacher told me I was gonna be nothing but a high school drop out.”
What set Rae apart from everyone else was her inner strength and determination. Deep down inside, she KNEW that she mattered and she KNEW that she would amount to something!
By the time Rae turned 18, she was a single mom to a little girl, and she had been kicked out by her own parents. Rae described herself as “alone, hungry, and scared” during this time period, and she was barely making ends meet at minimum wage jobs. Things got so bad that she found herself living in her truck.
Desperate, Rae accepted a job as a stripper when it was offered, having no idea that legitimate employers would not want to hire her in the future because of this line of work. Growing up, Rae had always dreamed of becoming a firefighter or EMT, but when she applied at Tarrant County College Fire Academy, her application was rejected.
“When I applied for the Fire Academy, they wanted my employment information. So, it was either explaining the ‘gap’ or tell them the truth,” she said. “I did what I felt was right. I told the truth. The admin looked at my application, snickered and said ‘I’m sorry, there’s no way I can accept this.’ Then threw my application in the trash.”
Regardless of how many roadblocks she faced, Rae still persevered. Her former husband would call her stupid all the time and tell her she did not have what it took to go to college, but she defied him by going to college anyway. Sadly, a professor at her college promptly squashed her dream of becoming a welder.
Refusing to listen to this professor, Rae made this dream happen anyway!
“So life went on. I let it go,” she wrote. “I made my money, got my daughter and I into an apartment, then left stripping behind. In turn, I had my son, I found art, became a welder, which lead to becoming a tow truck driver. After 3 years of working crashes, I found myself wanting more for myself. Not just for me but for my kids, because they deserved a mom to be proud of.”
Rae never forgot about her firefighting dreams, so she decided to give it one more shot. She hit the gym and studied as hard as she could until she was admitted into the fire academy. After getting her EMT certification, she moved to Colorado for a good job, and she’s been there ever since living out her dream!
Years later, Rae just received her EMT uniform!
“Although you may see an EMT uniform… I see the 6 months of working on an ALS ambulance,” Rae wrote. “The 6 months I need to apply for one of the top paramedic programs in the country. But what you don’t see is the interview I have at the end of the week for the first fire department I’ll ever work for…. yes, this is the beginning. The beginning of an end to hard work, and the start of even more sacrifices I’ll have to make to be a firefighter/flight medic one day.”
“Point is, people will doubt you. Let them. Just don’t ever doubt yourself,” Rae concluded. “Even though the doubt, my falls, the mistakes I made at 18 trying to just survive.. I kept going. Even when I wanted to give up. If I can do it…. so can you. This is your beginning… just like this is mine.”
Rae’s story serves as a fantastic reminder that you should never give up on your dreams, and you should never let anything hold you back in life! We wish Rae the best of luck at her fire department!