Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Apples aren’t for pigs! Garbage never cleans up! So, they thought.

This article was written as a compulsory assignment for the Voices of Our Future Contest http://worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/voices-of-our-future

"Come on! Apples aren’t for pigs! Are you really thinking you’d even have a chance in that school? Are you nuts? Go and bother somebody else!” – Ms Cabrera, the principal’s assistant, told me. I needed his nomination for a full scholarship at one of the most prestigious, and expensive, universities in Mexico. My school was a very large public institution where the students were referred as hopeless garbage. I waited six hours until I met the Principal. I ended up having full scholarship at the University of the Americas-Puebla sponsored by Volkswagen Mexico, the Hewlet foundation and the Jenkins Foundation. This is my testimony of how education changes Mexican women’s destiny.

It was worth to wait Mr Campos for hours. I was there on behalf of all the women of my life; I was not going to give up, was I? I inherited three great treasures. First, my Grandma Beatriz’ conviction, who praised her religious beliefs even at the risk of her own liberty. Second, my mom Claudia’s perseverance and her democratic values, she has always told me: “whatever you undertake, get it done the best you can, even if it seems small and effortless”. And third, the Catita’s spirit which supposes discipline and education as the most powerful tool in life. Think of these wonderful women. How come they did not get a University diploma? My generation was the first which more than basic needs were covered, where women and men were raised equally.

Poor education and health systems, poverty, lack of confidence and inequality beliefs are still constraining thousands of Claudias, Beatrices and Catitas from being able to have better quality of life. How did I overcome these challenges? My dad provided us a very decent life, so I didn’t have to use the public health services and grew up healthy. Even, if I went to public schools in a small town, I was a curious girl demanding a lot of attention. So, my mom was also nurturing us intellectually. Extra school work was mandatory at home. At a very early age, I had red many books and my curiosity just got bigger. In a country where lack of confidence -Ms Cabrera’s thinking- defeats almost anybody, my mom didn´t take “I can´t” for a valid answer. And finally, my dad changed his macho beliefs for a culture where boys and girls have to be treated and educated under the same care and standards. This is how in two generations my family has gone from extreme poverty to empowered and educated women.

I must also mention, I have had invaluable academic opportunities sponsored by private or foreign entities. As I have pointed out in previous articles, health and education will certainly make the perfect formula to assure a better destiny for the future Mexican voices. Mexico has the same universal constraints than many other places. Guaranteeing basic needs and rights remains a huge challenge for the government; and the society is not yet convinced to assume its responsibility on this lack of commitment. “Who does not con, does not make progress” is the anticipated public officials’ pillar principle; being incorruptible is considered to being foolish. Such premises also portray the high acceptance towards corruption amongst the population; anyone may incidentally have the chance to work for the government and will certainly take personnel advantage of the opportunity. Thinking of potential gains might explain why this practice is not fiercely contested. I wrote my master thesis about this phenomena when I graduated from the University of Western Ontario sponsored by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE).

On my own experience, the key to transform our realities is still based on training and educating committed young women; who have shown interest in community issues. My Hungarian alma mater, Central European University (CEU) sponsored by the Open Society Foundation gave us the best education for free and we were asked to go back home in order to reproduce what we got. CEU has created a generation of leaders who are transforming and leading better places to live. For example, the first Romani at the European Parliament; the first woman lawyer in the Tibet; or, myself, I am devoted to guarantee the best available right to health for Latin American children through the launching of a continental network for prevention of illnesses that can cause disabilities. Imagine what more CEUs training Klaudias could do for our countries! So, let us engage more organizations and civil society in educational programs and scholarships.

Another key to change Mexico’s destiny is to start thinking “apples are for everybody!” and never stop children from dreaming; but encouraging them to attain what seemed to be out of their reach. Men supporting and caring for women, women encouraging girls and boys, and, children transforming the world; this is what will change our destinies for good.

Klaudia González
Red Nacional para la Prevención de la Discapacidad
The National Network for Disability Prevention
http://renapred.org.mx

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »

Downloads

Comments

Rebecca R's picture

Education is powerful

"This is how in two generations my family has gone from extreme poverty to empowered and educated women." That sentence says so much, Klaudia. About the power of education, about the importance of empowering and educating a woman, and about the fruits of supporting women to raise in a community.

A wonderful story.

Becky

Klaudia Mexico's picture

Apples for everybody!!!!

Dear Becky
thanks for your kind words!!! Some times, I look behind and I still don´t believe how lucky I´m. I've red in other posts "Educate men and you educate men, educate women and you´ll change the world " How truth is that!!!
hugs from beautiful Mexico
Klaudia

Klaudia González

Klaudia Mexico's picture

Apples for everybody!!!!

Dear Becky
thanks for your kind words!!! Some times, I look behind and I still don´t believe how lucky I´m. I've red in other posts "Educate men and you educate men, educate women and you´ll change the world " How truth is that!!!
hugs from beautiful Mexico
Klaudia

Klaudia González

IamTruth's picture

Dear Klaudia: Your story is

Dear Klaudia:

Your story is both interesting and inspiring. Your journey through education is as a result of the cumulative efforts of generations of women in your family, and the stabilizing force of a father who is a committed to your success. What a blessing! I admire your spirit and wish you continued success on your journey.

Love,

IamTruth
(Al)

Klaudia Mexico's picture

cumulative efforts

Sometimes I feel like a comunitary garden just because I'm the result of cumulative efforts. I'm very happy I got to be the flower that everybidy has nurtured.
Thanks for your kind words and support
Klaudia

Klaudia González

Iryna's picture

Books

Dear Klaudia, your story is amazing! I also adore reading, I've learnt to read when I was four, and since then I've read tonns of books and still I feel excited just with the smell of old books. I think reading is the doors to education, and education is the doors to changes.

Thank you for your story,
Greetings,
Iryna.

Klaudia Mexico's picture

Spasibo!!

I took basic Russian and while I was learning the Cyrilic Alphabet I had flashbacks to those days when I was learning how to write and read :D Books break chains, tranform societies and open windows!!!!
cheers
Klaudia

Klaudia González

Raulvldz's picture

Dear Klau

Total apoyo de los hombres al desarrollo de grandes mujeres como tu, líder entre las maravillosas mujeres Klau, el privilegio de la educación es una responsabilidad que tu asumes muy dignamente, y es un trabajo constante al que no se puede renunciar, necesitamos que sea para todos!
Mi admiración y cariño Klau.

Klaudia Mexico's picture

Eres un sol!!!

Muchas gracias Querido!!! Exacto la educación impone una responsabilidad. Te agradezco mucho tus palabras de aliento y apoyo.
Un fuerte abrazo!!!
Klaudia

Klaudia González

JoneBosworth's picture

You're an inspiration!

Dear Klaudia,
What an inspiration you are! Your marvelous story of persistence, finding connections, and spreading your success with conviction and devotion to future generations is remarkable.

I particularly loved how you moved from your individual story to national advocacy and encouragement for the entire global human family: "Men supporting and caring for women, women encouraging girls and boys, and, children transforming the world; this is what will change our destinies for good."

Thank you for persisting, inspirating and advocating change!

My best wishes,
Jone

Jone M. Bosworth, JD

Klaudia Mexico's picture

inspirational women

Dear jone:

I welcome you again to this amazing place. Thank you very much for your kind words. I think I have been very lucky and supported by truly inspirational women in my life. I am just trying to be the result of their mentoring and guidance.

I invite you to read my newest post, it is precisely about my dream of being an inspiration to other young women.
http://worldpulse.com/node/70265

Thank you again and please receive a hug from beautiful Mexico

Klaudia

Klaudia González

Dana Anderson's picture

A True Leader

What a wonderfully personal story that captured my attention, made me smile and above all makes me proud to be a woman! I love that you identified the need for positive role models in creating change, but also the importance of following our own dreams and initiative to make a better world for ourselves and others. There will always be Ms Cabreras in the lives of young girls, who refuse to see, or perhaps are afraid of, the potential of their girl students. And yet you give hope that a new wave of women continues to grow--women who see they can do anything and who are determined to help young girls realize the same.

Thank you for mixing the personal details of your own story with your general beliefs and philosophies about education. Your vibrant personality and leadership shine through.

Best,
Dana

Klaudia Mexico's picture

Leading for us women.

Dear Dana!!

I do appreciate your encouraging support and words. In invite you to read my newest post on how I want to be an inspiration and how to achieve my own happiness and others'. here is the link
http://worldpulse.com/node/70265

We need to convince Ms Cabreras to have faith in us young women. You know I invite her to my undergraduate dissertation and she didn´t come; but she apologized to my mother about what she told me back then. Fortunately, my story might have caused a change in Ms Cabrera thinking.

May life bring blessing and success to our lifes.

Klaudia

Klaudia González

...may they look upon your courage and spirit to be help them have a much needed epiphany. Powerful story, Klaudia!

Susan Cruz

Klaudia Mexico's picture

To all of them!!!

Dear Susan

I actually think I changed Ms Cabrera thinking. I invite her to my undergraduate dissertation and she didn´t come; but she apologized to my mother about what she told me back then. She told my mom, she never doubted about my intellectual capability; but, she tried to discourage me not to suffer any bullying from rich people. Can you believe her? I'm happy I just didn't care about her opinion.
Muchos saludos!!!
Klaudia

Klaudia González

keronga's picture

You inspire

You are great inspiration Claudia! I'm glad God gave me the opportunity to meet you! We shall make a great team

Klaudia Mexico's picture

thank you!!!

Dear Beatrice

I appreciate your kind words. I´m also very thankful to have meet you,
All the best,
Klaudia

Klaudia González

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

DRC: A Dream Come True

DRC: A Dream Come True

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

The Women of World Pulse LIVE: Meet Jampa

The Women of World Pulse LIVE: Meet Jampa

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative