SAN ANTONIO — We’ve all heard the adage when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

It's not exactly the kind of mixing you learn in a chemistry lab but it's an important life lesson a young chemist is teaching her students at South San Antonio ISD. 

How she worked her way up will leave you inspired.

Sharon Huizar recalls the many conversations she’s had in her 8th-grade science classroom and they’re not always about what’s in the book

“They’re like Miss, only people from the Northside go to college,”

Sometimes it’s a life lesson her 12 and 13-year-old kids face every day. Huizar remembers she was once that kid.

“I use that to help them. I’m from the Southside. It doesn’t matter, look at me. My parents didn’t have a lot of money but I still went to college.”

Not only did she go to college, “I’m the first person in my family to graduate from college,” Huizar said.

“My parents always wanted us to have a career where we are financially well and we wouldn’t have to work two jobs. They just pushed and pushed and pushed.”

Between academic scholarships, and help from her parents she was able to graduate, “and the rest were student loans so I’m still paying for my college today.”

She received a biology degree from St. Mary's University and went on to become a Chemist, working for several pharmaceutical labs in San Antonio.

Ironically the chemistry just wasn't there. Instead, she found all the right elements teaching at Zamora Middle School.

Her students say they love the way she simplifies an otherwise difficult subject. Her approach is to get them as close as possible to what they’re learning.  

“When we learn about photosynthesis we’ll go outside and look at the leaves,” Huizar said, “ and I’ll say hey you can see this on your way home!.”  

When she’s home, Huizar likes to pull out her artistic side. She makes crafty things like signs, glasses, and bags with fun quotes that any teacher can relate to and she sells them online.

Her co-workers are like a second family.

“We were reminiscing that Bonanza was such a good restaurant and we googled which is the closest one and it happened to be in Tupelo, Mississippi. We planned a road trip in the summer and we went to eat there. Crazy I know but teachers are kind of crazy.”

As for her students, Huizar has taught them many valuable lessons.  

“That’s how I give back. I might not financially be able to give back to people but I can show them just because your parents don’t have money, doesn’t mean you can’t go to college.,” Huizar said values she once learned from her father.

“He passed away 6 years ago to cancer. I know he’s looking down now super proud of this moment.”