You can take your education anywhere you go
by Raquel Fernandez
My mother once told me “you can always take your education with you anywhere you go. It is not heavy, you don’t have to fold it, and it is useful everywhere you go.” As an immigrant I believe that the best investment one can make through life is getting an education. It is a personal investment that will follow you everywhere. It will change your life by opening doors to new opportunities and helping you make the right decisions in life. The problem is that children, adolescents, and even adults around the world struggle to acquire an equitable and quality education. There are some places in the world where the education system is threatened by opposition like wars, environmental factors, and legislators that will not invest in education just because they do not see the importance of it.
I believe that investing in education should be a priority. As a Latina I’ve learned through my career that the best way to compete in the professional sphere, get my voice heard, and show my capabilities is by acquiring a high quality education. It not only builds character, but it prepares us for the future. A future that we all share as a community, meaning, that by having access to a good educational system we can cohesively live in a better place--ne with more opportunities, better job performance, equality, and a better understanding of the surrounding community.
If we invest in a quality and equitable education system the levels of poverty will diminish. A living example is my grandfather. Born in a very poor house in a city called Cabimas in Venezuela. He was the youngest of 12 siblings. Of the twelve he decided to borrow clothes and books to make it through high school and college. He would tell me that the days he didn’t have shoes to attend class he would sit outside of the classroom door and try to listen to the lecture the professor was giving that day. Ultimately, he made it to the top of his class at the L.U.Z. public university (La Universidad del Zulia) where he then became a professor and Dean of the College of Medicine.
Let us imagine that every child in this world has the opportunity to achieve a higher level of education. Let us envision a world where books are at an accessible price. Let us advocate for a much needed funding to our education system and to the educational systems of the world--where all boys and girls can equally learn and rise above poverty because they not only know how to read and conduct the basic mathematical skills but they have the opportunity to innovate and make decisions that will change their community and the future of their family. I believe in funding education because it not only changed my grandfather’s life but it also changed mine. As Nelson Mandela said “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Fund education and we can change our world.
Raquel Fernandez is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida and is a GCE-US Youth Advocate
This year, Global Action Week will take 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 this year's theme, "My Education, My Right(s)" means to you, check out the GAWE Student and Teacher Activity Guide.
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