Start Here. Go Anywhere.

“i” is for Incentive

Posted on: February 22, 2011

photo of Rosa CastanedaRosa Castaneda is in her fourth quarter at UC Santa Cruz, where she is majoring in English. She was the first president of the iFALCON Club at Cerritos College prior to her successful transfer.

For the previous weeks I’ve been pondering on the “why” of everything I do. I was at the bus stop after a long day of classes, meetings, interviews and dance practice and thinking of this and the month’s all-nighters. I started thinking about what I wanted to blog about. I went through each letter of the iFALCON acronym and I was able to think of something for each, but I asked myself, “What brings these skills together and how are they to be fueled in order to be efficient?”

Later on that week I picked a story idea for my article in the university newspaper about a factory that makes university logo apparel for over 300 universities in the U.S. and Canada. It is an apparel factory in the Dominican Republic that pays its workers a living wage, which is three times the minimum wage there. I spoke to a worker from the factory in the Dominican Republic and heard the story of how being able to afford the bare necessities –like food, clean water and with this, an education for her children—completely changed her life and her family’s. The connectedness I felt with someone so far away and how my choice as a consumer can make a difference in a person’s life, made me feel attached to my story. The idea of this type of factory has commenced to be a national campaign to promote sweat-shop free apparel. I read a lot of recent publications on this factory and felt even more motivated to let students on my campus know about this and their affect on people they will never meet.

I felt I had duty to do something with this information and to voice its importance through my writing.  At that moment I felt that I had an incentive—I was motivated. That motivation not only pushed me to write the story, but it made me see how coming to school is a privilege—one that many don’t have. Through the knowledge I obtained, I wanted to help others in some sort of way.  Instantly, I thought about iFalcon and how I could write about this and so it just came to my head that before we are able to focus or advance etc., we need a driving force—an incentive.

It is then that FALCONing becomes almost automatic. We are able to focus when we know what we are doing and why. With an incentive, we have substance to organize. When someone is very passionate about something, that person will go through all means of finding the necessary skills, people and knowledge in order to execute their ideas—linkingup. In my perspective as a student, it pushed me to excel in my schoolwork by researching about my interests which helped me advance and further comprehend. It is true that through knowledge comes power—power to help change your surroundings by developing new ideas.

Perhaps it is a bit of a stretch, but I always refer back to Friedrich Nietzsche, a quote I read in a book called Man’s Search for Meaning which was assigned in one of my English classes at Cerritos College. Viktor Frankl, the author of the book, quotes Nietzsche: “He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear almost any ‘how.’” If one can really dig deeply to find a reason, perhaps a goal—to be the first in your family to get a degree, to be independent, to help out in your community, to let other students be aware of issues that they are otherwise unknowledgeable of, whatever it is—it is then that one is able to excel in anything one sets her mind to.

Sometimes finding a motivation is not easy because we feel that our goals are too far away. Talk to your professors about what you want to do with your career, or about doubts concerning your education. Talk to them about ideas, issues you are pondering. Conversing with peers, professors, counselors or family will help you see how attainable goals are and this will also push you to thrive in your education by changing the way you perceive it.

So the next time you feel as if something is missing even though you know what you have to do—focus, comprehend and organize, etc.—ask yourself, “What is my reason to be in school, and what goals do I want to accomplish?” He who has an incentive can achieve almost anything.

Back to the iFALCON home page.


21 Responses to "“i” is for Incentive"

I think this is really true. School is a privelege many people don’t have. Me as a student also believe everyone should have an incentive to push them to work harder for what they want. For me i always have to have some motivation even if its something like my “LIFE” my “FUTURE” thats a big thing to me so I make sure I am getting things done. Its all for my own good. So yea….having an incentive to motivate you is a great idea.

Its amazing that when you start thinking about something that you have concerns about,you understand even more than before!The iFalcon acronym is pretty straight forward on how to be successful in college.What also amazes me, is that in a apperal factory in Dominican Republic, they get paid more than some of us working minnimum wage.But,to accomplish ones goals, there is a path to take,obstacles to overcome and new things to be learned.

I really enjoyed this blog.i feel like going to buy all kinds of cerritos apparel to help the people in other country’s. I agree with the author and his famous quote it makes perfect sense.

This is actually the harsh truth about other countries. It has opened me eyes more and i should be thankful that i can go to school and i can afford the thing I need. I also think she is right about how we seem to focus on things we know and like the most. I agree with her on that. Now i also know that i should seek help if i have doubts or trouble in reaching my goals.

this is very true alot of people in the world does not have the privelege to attended to schoool. We should be happy in america that we have alot of things to succeed in life and have a great future. That is why we should take advantage of this opportunity because not everybody has it in life. That is a motivation why to do good in school. Also i agree FALCON is a good resource how to be a good student in college.I also agree telling somebody about your dreams and it will also push you to thrive in your education by changing the way you perceive it. I really like this article because its so true.

I agree to this blog. I feel so lucky to attend school. my parents always told me that its a privilege to go to school because in the country they were born in was only for those who could afford it and did good in school.

i think your right. we have the privilege to go to school and be somebody. everybody that has their goals set can achieve it and we are lucky that we could get a education in america because your more more likely to start working at a young age in other countries than continue going to school.

This blog is very interesing. I feel that i am very privileged to be able to attend school because others in different countries dont have the luxury of doing so. This article opens my eyes to how much help buying a little piece of clothing can do to others in need. Very informative.

you’re right. coming to school is a privilege. im glad i attend school, which is something that other might not get the chance to do. i also had no idea that they get paid 3x’s more than our minimum wage down in the Dominican Republic.

I think this is true doing what you believe that you can do will be accomplish. Always remember that what you put your mind into will definitely come out right. Having the privilege to go to school and do what you like to do is a big thing many people wish they can at least learn English but they don’t have the things they need and they cant. Always follow your dreams and do what you enjoy to do!

it is true having school is a privilege. I strongly agree with rosa becuase I look at it that there are kids out there that want to go to school and can’t. I really like this blog

I liked this article a lot,it express that we own ample wealth to have better living conditions and learning resources. But, at the same time the author provides information that there are other countries that still live in poverty. Life is not always beautiful and happy. We should treasure what we own in this life. If we work hard with what we have, there will be more opportunities for us to get a successful future.

this blog is definitely True i agree with her and i think it is a responsibility and a privilege to be waking up every day in the morning and trying your best at school.This blog really got y attention and i think it makes us students realize that every little single thing we do has a meaning or something that makes a difference in it good article i enjoyed reading it thanks Rosa Castaneda 🙂

I like this article alot! Going to college is a privilege because i know back in the days my parents could not even afford to attend college. And they did not even really have financial aid back then. So that is why I think we have to take whatever opportunity that is thrown at us. Also we shouldn’t take what we have for granted because some teens & adults that really want to better their education cant. And we get a chance to better our education then we shouldnt mess it up because they will love to be in our shoes.

I totally agree with the point that we should find the motivation to achieve our goals. It is not only about how to success in college but also the key to success in life. Here is what I’ve learnt from this article: If I know why I want it, i’ll then know how to get it.

I am lucky to be here at school. I want to change my life and be able to change my future so that when I have children they would be able to have the choices in life that I have never had.

I agree with Rosa C. Not everyone will have the chance to go to school. Helping to change someones life can be more happiness to yours. Thats why I’m in college so i can make my family proud of me and to have a career.

This is a great blog. I learned so much. A motivation of doing something you strive to do. you have given great advices like talking to a councelor of professors to get help and be inspired. It is a really good idea to have an incentive because you have something pushing you to succeed. Great job for helping others.

They don’t get paid 3 times more than Americans. They get paid 3 tImes more than other people there. Good job rosa

I feel that this is an great story. Most people dont have the chance to go to college, but for the omes that do, accomplish your go in get things done.


This is a very inspiring blog. I feel like I can relate to you in so many ways. Your own motivation on striving for something you really want to do can help you achieve anything. Your mindset and your focus has pushed you to succeed in many aspects. Sometimes I have goals that seem too far away to reach, but if I’m determined to be responsible and accountable for my decisions, I know I can reach my goals. I think this is a great blog and I could you this in my every day life.

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