Getting an Education
Has Been Hard for Some Parents
Blanca de Menjivar, the mother of two Blair students,
was not able to finish school in El Salvador. in the U.S she works as a
By Norma Menjivar
Many of our parents did not have the some experiences
with education that we are having today. Many parents who grew up in other countries
might have a hard time understanding what their children in school are experiencing
here in the Untied States.
Parents who have only had a few years of education
had many problems in their countries. Money problems was one of the biggest issues
for many of our parents. They did not have money to buy the thing that they needed
to go to school. Julio Menjivar a parent of two daughters who attend Blair, went
to school with a composition book and two pencils for a year because his parents
could not afford to buy more things for all his brothers and sisters. “I
used to sell wood and sugar cane to buy more pencils for me and my brothers and
sisters because my Dad could not buy them for us,” he said.
The wars in many countries stopped many people from
getting their education, too, and many of our parents have been affected. Blanca
de Menjivar had to stop going to school because of the war in her country, El
Salvador. She said, “I wanted to be a clothes designer. But many people
in El Salvador stopped going to school because of the Civil War during that time,”
she said. Her husband, Julio, also stopped studying because of the war. His family
decided to go to Honduras until the war ended.
Being from a large family was also a problem for
some parents. Julio Menjivar said that after 6th grade, his father did not let
him go to school because Julio had to help raise the rest of his younger brothers
and sisters. “I wanted to go to school. I did not care even if I went at
night,” he said.
He was ableto finish up to 8th grade at night school. “I wanted to be an
architect,” he said. Unfortunately, he was not able to make his dream come
true. Now he works at the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. in food services.
Many parents were fortunate to finish high school
and some even went to college. Beto Fuentes a Salvadoran and a parent of a student
at Blair, finished high school back in his country, El Salvador. Because he did
not get help from his parents, he finished high school on his own. When he came
to the United States, he went to Columbia University for two years, but then he
stopped because he had to take care of his daughter. “I wanted to become
a doctor,” he said. Now he is a manager of a bakery.
But even though many parents have had a hard time
going to school, many of them still are strong supporters of their children’s
education. “I would do anything for my daughter to go to college, to have
the things that I did not have,” Julio said.