Video posted on March 14, 2016 at 6:10 am CST

To Telisa Sanders, success is accomplishing her goals of finishing school, starting her own business and giving back to the community. But juggling financial and family responsibility makes it harder to meet her goals.

Entering Crenshaw High School as a freshman, she saw gangs and fighting. But the next year, the school converted to a magnet program and now she is able to focus on her music and leadership skills in school, including being CEO of her own company. As a senior now, she is learning financial literacy and how to run a company from conception to marketing and production. She plans to use those tools to start her own company and give back to the community. First though, she has to finish her education.

“It doesn’t matter what your background is, what you come from, the opportunities are out there — you’ve just go to go for them,” Telisa said.

For now, she is pursuing her American dream by working hard and being involved in her high school, because she understands that education is the key to her future.