Gomez was in Abilene Independent School District when he put into special education classes in elementary school.
"I didn't want to be labeled as Special Ed. I thought once I was Special Ed that was it, I wasn't smart or anything like that," says Gomez.
He soon realized a label should never determine what a person is capable of.
Gomez says, "I kind of just went along with it and just accepted it, and just tried my hardest just to over come this."
Gomez would go above and beyond the call of duty in school, which is something his mentor, Shellie Evans, remembers about him to this day.
"I think back when I knew him when he was very young at ortiz and he always worked really hard and tried really hard," says Evans.
After graduating from high school Gomez went on to Cisco College in order to become a doctor, but discovered the medical field was not where he was destined to be so he decided to pursue his true calling, photography.
"I was just like wow. My heart felt this is where I needed to be and with that, my work started to show," says Gomez.
Two and a half years ago Gomez was accepted into the Art Institute of Austin..where he made his dreams come true.
Evans says, "It's exciting to see students that don't let that keep them from accomplishing great things like Joe has done."
Gomez just graduated from the Art Institute and wants people to know that your future is determined by your motivation and determination, not by a label.
"Don't ever give up. Continue and work as hard as you can," says Gomez.