Education transformed my life!
For some reasons I never thought I could perform well in school until I went to college. I was always an average student, with passing grades. I liked to read, to research topics, to learn about nature and biology, but I had no specific ideas about what my future job would be. My mother would say: "you can be a teacher, or an accountant, like me!" I would think that was boring. All I wanted was travel the world and get a different kind of education! I wanted to talk to people, live with people in other countries and understand their vision of the world. I never thought college was a place for me!
In fact I never thought I would ever go to college. I felt intimidated by the idea!
I graduated High School in 1999 and did not go to college until 2003. For four years, I worked dead-end jobs, traveled many places and enriched myself with experiences. When I came back to France after a year in the U.S I felt so empowered by my new found ability to speak another language and navigate another culture. My mother said: "Go to college, study English! You will get a chance to speak English everyday and be in college!" My mother always wanted me to go to college. And I did and once I got my foot in the door, I shined, getting higher and higher grades and surpassing all the expectations I ever had for myself!
I am first generation in my family going to college! My mother's parents were farmers and stopped going to school at 12 years old. My father's parents were immigrants from Sicily and were in school for only a few years. The reality of their lives was such that early on they became the bread winners in their households. They moved to France with the desire to offer different opportunities to their children. But my parents never went to High School. At age 14, they went on to learn a trade and at age 16, they entered the work force and helped their parents with their earnings! Soon, they married, had children and worked even harder to provide for me and my brother, to make sure we could feel empowered to go to school and not have to worry about helping them financially. See I am 31 years old and I am still in college. In fact it's been 10 years and I am loving the learning process!
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunities I have had going to school and getting a higher education, not just for the doors it opened, but for the self confidence it gave me.
Based on my own experience, my family history, and what education has brought to my life, I am a fervent advocate for the right of all women and girls to attend school and transform themselves. I have worked in classrooms as a mentor for young girls for years. I make school" fun," that's what they say! Because school should be fun and about growing instead of being about performing and reciting! Let all women inspire one girl or another women to seriously engage in their education. Let access to education become our priority! Let girls transform the world!
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