Education transforms lives
by Carla Crespo
Growing up, I loved math. Ever since I was a little girl, math came easy to me and I thought one day I would be an engineer like my father. Education has always been my priority since my parents migrated to the United States and left behind our country of Ecuador to provide me access to a better education. As a fifteen-year-old Latina growing up in Kentucky, where there was not much diversity, I never really reflected on my own identify when considering what I wanted to do as an adult. I performed well academically and so my peers and even teachers saw me as “different” than the few other Latinos in my school district. I went through the system in honor classes and Advanced Placement courses in high school. Not once did I realize how I was an exception. My parents and teachers always pushed me to succeed academically so to me, college was an expectation.
When I began university I decided to double major in Computer Science and Spanish Literature since that would combine my love for math and allow me to learn more about my native language’s literature. It was through my time spent in some of my Spanish Literature classes that I reflected on how fortunate I had been to be in a school system that enabled me enough resources to be successful.
As I learned about how much inequality there existed in our country when it comes to education and people of color I decided to give back. I joined Teach For America after graduating college to give back to the country I call home. I am now a second year teacher teaching first grade in the west side of San Antonio. It’s so rewarding to be able to stress the importance of education to the future leaders of our nation. One thing I strive to do with my students on daily basis is remind them how they should feel proud of their Latino background and celebrate the diversity they bring to our community. Although my career now is different from what I envisioned as a fifteen year old, the constant remains- education does transform lives. It transformed mine. My parents are my heroes for having sacrificed everything for my sister and me in order to give us the best education possible. I share my story with my students because many of them are also first generation growing up in this country. To see a six-year internalize how the importance of education is so inspiring.
I hope to eventually bridge my passion for computer science and education in order to push STEM fields for Latina girls. Girls need to feel empowered to join a STEM field, which is why it is critical that we fund education in order to allow our minority students to have access to a quality education.
Carla Crespo is a teacher in San Antonio, Texas and a GCE-US Youth Advocate.
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1. Carla Crespo; fourth grade. First year in school in USA
2. Carla Crespo, SGA President, giving the commencement speech at graduation. Brescia University ‘14
This year, Global Action Week will took place from April 24th to May 1st, 2019. This annual week of action calls attention to the urgent need to invest in the future of the 260+ million out-of-school children around the world. To get involved and share what the 2019 theme, "My Education, My Right(s)" means to you, check out the GAWE Student and Teacher Activity Guide.
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