Finding Your Confidence: An Interview with Jennifer Mena
In case you missed it…
You can rewatch our informative Facebook live session with TOEFL and Jennifer Mena to hear her story in its entirety.
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Have a strong WHY
Growing up in Ecuador, Jennifer Mena enrolled in an English-speaking school, but her classmates made fun of her English as she tried participating in class. She made a resolution that she’d catch up to them; after a summer of taking an online English course, she did. When asked about what gave her confidence to face the challenges she came up against, she said:
“A strong “why” always helps – my deep desire to achieve my goals. One of the things I’ve tried to work on and I’m still working on is despite having that voice, keep on doing the things I want to do and taking risks. So I’ll say, don’t let the judgment stop you or limit you, but instead, try to use it as fuel. And I know sometimes it is hard to follow, but if you let it actually become true, then you are limiting yourself to things that are not true because we all can improve.”
Speak to yourself
Jennifer wanted to get a score higher than 100 on her TOEFL practice tests, but she kept falling short. Self-doubt crept into her head — how could she compete with international students earning scores much higher than her own? It’s then that Jennifer realized that she couldn’t grow without changing the way she thought.
Her solution? Replace thoughts of doubt with the belief that you are capable of improving. Jennifer said, “For me, confidence is a lifelong journey of working against my inner beliefs and thoughts.” Mastering her thoughts empowered Jennifer to keep trying, and she broke through the 100-point mark on her TOEFL test, earning a “MyBest” score of 111!
Live with purpose
As much as you want to be confident at all times, confidence comes and goes. It’s a purpose that will pull you out of your bed every morning, even when you aren’t feeling your best. Jennifer is living with purpose, and she’s just getting started:
“I want to help my home country. Ecuador is categorized as a third-world country. Also, the case is that it is extremely, naturally wealthy and diverse — plus, it’s full of human potential. But we have a lot of bad leadership. I intend to help my home country, Ecuador, in biotechnological advancement — especially for the health industry and the medical sector. I’m also super interested in education and children’s rights. My biggest, biggest, BIGGEST dream is to create a center for the support and protection of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
Thanks to our friends at TOEFL for supporting this program!
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