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 floral designer.
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.
© Copyright Silver International Newspaper, Montgomery Blair H.S. 2003 (This page was created by Flor Torres and Tadese Measho)