On this occasion we want to tell you a couple of short stories, which demonstrate that human beings constantly seek to solve and overcome their past, and face the future with tools they find along their way.
WHAT IS RESILIENCE?
There are elements that contribute to developing resilience. Studies show that one of the most important parts in resilience is having loving and supportive relationships within and outside the family. Relationships that emanate love and trust, that provide role models, and that offer encouragement and security, contribute to affirming the person’s resilience.
The ability to make realistic plans and follow the steps necessary to carry them out. A positive view of themselves and confidence in their strengths and abilities. Skills in communication and problem solving. Getting help when you need it is crucial to building resilience. Beyond family and friends, people find help in: Self-help and support groups.
These community groups can help people struggling with difficulties. By sharing information, ideas and emotions, people who participate in groups can help themselves and find support by recognizing that they are not alone in their situation.
Think of resilience as taking a trip down a river on a raft. In a river, you may encounter rapids, turns, slow water, and shallow areas. As in life, the changes you experience along the way affect you differently. Traveling along the river helps you get to know it and remember the past experiences you have had with it. Your journey should be guided by a plan, a strategy that you believe works for you. Perseverance and confidence in your ability to avoid rocks and other obstacles are important. You can gain courage and insight by successfully navigating the rough waters. People you trust and who accompany you on the journey can especially help you deal with rapids, currents, and other river difficulties. You can get off the raft and rest on the river bank. However, to finish his trip he must get back on the raft and continue.
Based on the above, La Casa Guadalupana, a study center for adults, located in SW Detroit, provides students with the resilience that people seek in continuing their study journey.
Here are the stories of Lourdes and Martha, students, and Itzamara, teacher. That in some way or another the three are in a close relationship of studies and resilience.
ITZAMARA IZZARD, MEXICO CITY (16 YEARS IN DETROIT) APPLIED MATHEMATICS AND GED MATH INSTRUCTOR
“One of the things I think motivates the students a lot is their children, sometimes they come here to have a better future, they come here to this country because they want to give their children a better future than they had. Maybe they never had a house, a car, and now that they are working, they want that.
This institution supports them a lot, because one of the first barriers that immigrants encounter is language, even to communicate with the doctor, when we go shopping, English is very important. This institution can help you with knowledge of the English language. We have three levels, basic, intermediate and advanced, and excellent teachers. We can also help you if you did not finish your studies, for example, elementary, middle, or high school; you can get these certificates.
Elementary and middle education is provided by the Ministry of Public Education with the National Institute of Adult Education. The Mexican government issues this document. We have an agreement. And GED studies are valid throughout the United States. After a few years, that GED diploma is also valid in Mexico. If, for whatever reason you have to return to Mexico, that GED diploma will also work for you in Mexico. They are valid throughout the United States and also in Mexico.
Many, due to various problems they had, some arrive without knowing how to read or write, that is how hard the situation is in our countries in Latin America, and we teach them from there, from the basic principles of reading and writing, and they advance in a way that, when you see them, they even look taller and bigger, because the tool is not only for them to know how to add, subtract, multiply, read, but also to give them the confident of believing in themselves.
What makes me feel very good, as a person and part of this school, is that they are advancing in a way that they do not realize, but they are growing, and it is a domino effect, because by feeling better, the family feels better, and he also wants to succeed. They grow incredibly. I am happy, happy, to see how they grow. There is a mother who has seven children, there is another who has five children, and they have to bemothers, wives, some are grandmothers, they have to wash the dishes, cook, and some of them also work and still they come to school.
I admire them, because despite all the responsibilities, all the work they have to do at home, they still decide to come and do homework, and it’s not a little, sometimes it’s too much homework. It is not easy, but when they achieve it, it is a gratification for them, for the family, for everyone as a whole.
Yes, they have to work and study, but the guarantee is that it is a domino effect. That satisfaction, that pride, is reproduced, and when they really want it, they achieve it.
Everyone is welcome, we have different levels of English, different levels of school, finance classes, and many types of activities that can help you.”
LOURDES VALDIVIA GUERRERO, LA BARCA, JALISCO
“I only finished high school. It had always been my dream to study, since I was little I wanted to have a career, finish my studies. My dream was to be a psychologist, but for economic reasons my parents could no longer send me to school; I had to get to work. Now, as an adult I remembered that it had always been my dream, I wanted to do something in my life, but first I dedicated myself to my children. I went through depression, anxiety, many things, and more than anything that motivated me to come to school to distract myself a little, but once I was here I remembered what my dream was.
I finished my GED in February and we had a graduation party in June. From then, I started studying English. Right now, I am studying English because I would like to be involved in my community, have a job in an organization where I could be involved and help my community.
We are housewives, we have husbands and children that we have to take care of, sometimes the husbands don’t want us to come, and say: “why, why, it’s not going to be of any use to you.”
Also problems with children, you know that teenagers get into trouble and one falls into depression. I fell into depression due to a problem with my son, but here we are continue fighting, having to clean the house, take care of the husband, the children, battling illnesses.
Look at me, at my age, I’m 46 years old and I want to tell you that it is possible, any dream you have can be achieved if you make an effort, if you fight for it.”
MARTHA ELENA GONZÁLEZ GOVEA, MEXICO CITY
“I only studied until middle school. What has motivated me to improve myself today are my dreams that I have always had since I was a child. When I was a child, I would have liked to go to school. Because of life, because of what I’ve lived, I never went to school.
In my first year of school I was 21 years old; I finished elementary school and then started middle school. Then time passed, I started studying as a stylist and married a man who beat me, I was married to that man for 15 years. I decided to emigrate to the United States and the need of support my children, since I am a single mother, I had forgotten my dreams.
It has been difficult for me to be a mother and have to leave my job. Right now, I only work part-time. Financially, reducing my household expenses, feeling a little stressed, but I’m working on it.
Especially to women, I would say that it is never too late to achieve your dreams, because the point is to keep fighting for what you want and no matter what obstacles there may be in life. I feel that it is never too late to achieve what you want, no matter your age, I am 49 years old and I really want to improve myself, succeed, I want to go to university and something that motivates me a lot is that I have a teacher who always drives us to move forward and, in the most difficult times I have had in my life, I have had to give up things to achieve my dreams.
Education is a very good tool to succeed, especially, in my personal case, to begin to value myself as a person and know that we can achieve many things. It doesn’t matter how long we have lived. The point of this is that we want to improve oneself and never give up.”