Have you ever heard any of these comments? “I don’t feel like going to school today.” “Midterms are such a pain.” “I just can’t wait to graduate and be done.” It has struck me how much we take our education for granted here in the United States. We dread going to school, doing homework, or taking tests, but we seldom realize what an opportunity we have been given to learn.
Not so with Wilber. I was talking to him the other day, and he told me how much he had always wanted to continue with school. He has only an elementary school education from his country, but he has never given up on the dream of learning. “I want to be an engineer,” he tells me. “I love drawing up plans by hand.” He hopes to continue his education so that he could one day design buildings.
Ana is also learning. It was only yesterday that I helped her obtain her first email address. She wants to be able to keep up with modern technology, so she is learning how to use a computer for the first time. Her fingers hesitantly brush over the keyboard as they search for the correct letters. One by one she finds them and slowly types out her very first email. It only says “Hola,” but what an accomplishment it is for someone who previously had no computer skills.
What has inspired me during my time at the center is how much people like Wilber and Ana want to learn something completely new. They may not have had every opportunity presented to them, but they do not use that as an excuse.