I grew up in the small valley of Santa Cruz, Trinidad, (The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago). My childhood was filled with torment and abuse, more so from an alcoholic father. Education was not priority to him only when it provided some monitory gains. What that means was in order to support his habit one of the things he would do was place bets on us ( I have five siblings). He would bet with his friends the rank we would place in tests. If we did not place at the rank we would be beaten, because it meant that he would have lost the bet. Losing meant that he had to pay them money. I was constantly subjected to humiliation and called derogatory names and told that I would not get far in life.
My mother however, being the strong woman that she was encouraged us and told us to never give up. Sometimes we did not have the books needed nor the means to even get to school. Support was sometimes given to us by our teachers and some members of the community. My teachers always believed in me and said that I had great potential but I suffered from low self esteem and doubt. In order to get to secondary school everyone had to do a major exam (it was called Common Entrance at that time). You can imagine the disappointment I felt when I did not get the school of my choice. This led to more low self esteem as I felt like a failure.
Over the years I never gave up. I continued to persevere. I went on to obtain my Ordinary Certificate, Associate Degree and BSc. I also did various courses. I never stopped trying as I firmly believe that knowledge opens your mind. I started to feel empowered. This led me to pursue a course called ALTA (Adult Literacy Tuition Association). It is an organisation in Trinidad and Tobago that commits to providing a comprehensive literacy programme to young people and adults. The practical part broke my heart to see so many young people and adults who cannot read.
This further confirmed the fact that I wanted to teach. I enjoy teaching and I am committed to the vocation. Getting a sound education is vital to society it allows us to develop critical thinking skills, become effective communicators, identify skills and allows economic growth (just to name a few). I see myself as a lifelong learner and believes that a society that is well educated causes us to feel a sense of togetherness.Let each one of us do what we can in reaching at least one child ,whether it is moral or financial support in obtaining a sound education. The children are the future and in the words of Mr. Malcolm X let's remember that 'Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today'.