Parent Academy Fall 2015: Armando Garcia

Translation: Armando Garcia

Hello! My name is Armando Garcia and I have four amazing children. I was born in Michoacan, Mexico, and was in the sixth grade when I had to quit school to start working to support the family. I worked on a strawberry farm, planting and picking strawberries. My family lived day by day, and we did not have a lot of money. If we worked, we had money to eat. If we didn’t work, we didn’t have the money to eat.

While in Mexico, I dreamed of a better life—for me and my family. I eventually came to the US in 1999 on a work visa. I now work on a sod farm as a mechanic. I often work long hours, and I do it for my family.

One day, I heard about Leadership Scholars on the radio: it was a program about education for immigrants. I came to the first class, and I have never missed one class since that day. It takes me an hour and ten minutes to get to the program from my house, but I do it to be able to help my kids do better in school. The most important thing I learned was about how to connect better with my children because I work long hours. It is important for me to learn how to make the most of the time I spend with my children.

I also liked meditation because it was relaxing. The Hispanics are always very stressed with a lot of work, so it helped me a lot. I was able to think better, and relax. I have taught my wife how to do it as well because she always comes home very stressed.

I was most happy to learn about college admissions, and what it takes to help my children get into college and get money for college. Learning about college, financial aid and scholarships was so important. Suddenly there was a door open that I didn’t know existed, and if I ever thought it existed, I didn’t think I’d be able to open it.

To my children, Erika, Bryan, Daniel, Armando Jr.--

Whatever I do, and all the effort I put in, is because of you. We make a lot of sacrifices because we love you very much. I want you to understand that you are important to me, and it doesn’t matter if we are tired, or if we don’t feel like going to certain events—we will show up –and we do it because you, my children, are the most important thing to us.

I want to tell my children, and all of the children here, that anything is possible with education. And as I always tell you, my children, “You are going to college”

Parent Academy Spring 2015: Margarita deJesus Ramos

Leadership Scholars Parent Academy Spring 2015 Graduation: Margarita deJesus Ramos

Good evening everyone and thank you for being here. My name is Margarita Ramos and my children go to Roberts Academy. I grew up in Oaxaca, Mexico.  My parents did not go to formal school. My dad died when I was nine, so when I was 10 years old, in the 3rd grade I quit school to work, to help my mom with my seven siblings. My mom’s house did not have electricity, and we needed money so I cleaned houses. My mom sent me to another state in Mexico to clean, and I couldn’t even reach inside the sink, so I had to stand on a stool to clean the sink! I tell my children this so they are grateful for their opportunity to go to school.

At 25, I moved to the United States by myself so I could have a better life. I now work at a hotel in house keeping. I have four beautiful children, so when I heard about the parent program, I was excited to learn more.

I recommend the program to parents because I have changed many things because of the program.  I now know how to better guide my children. I really liked to learn how to calculate GPA. I always saw my kids grades, but did not know what they meant. Now I know how to figure out their GPA with their grades.  In my house, when my kids come home from school, we now practice meditation and it helps everyone.  It relaxes their brains so they can study better. It also makes me feel better because I am relaxed and I can concentrate better.

I have learned how important it is to get my children involved in after school programs, and now we are looking for activities for them to do.  I have learned the process to go to high school and to college. I now know the steps I need to follow to get my kids into college.

I thank God for the strength He gives me every day to keep moving on and for empowering the heart of this group of women to be able to help us. They have taught us all the ways we can help our kids graduate and become someone important. I think that is a dream for many parents since many of us did not have this opportunity-- not because we did not want to, but because our parents could not give us the chance to go to school, since it is very difficult in our countries. That is why many of us came here—for a better future for our families. We, as parents have to be with them always, supporting them and reminding them that with their everyday efforts they can make it happen and that it doesn’t matter how many times you fall, but how many times you get up and keep going.

Thanks to all these women helping us and God bless them always. 

To my children: I love you, and you are the most important thing to me. It is for you that I work very hard every day.  I want you, my children, to see me in this robe and I hope to one day see each of you in robes graduating from college. 

Thank you very much.

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