Education: Overcome to be educated.

Catherine De Freitas
Posted June 27, 2020 from Trinidad and Tobago

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'.

This story was submitted in response to Equal Education.

Comments 14

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Chi8629
Jun 27
Jun 27

Hello Georgeous Catherine,
How are you doing today?
Trust you are safe ?
Thank you for sharing your story with us , iam sincerely sorry for what you passed through in the hands of your dad , You don't look like your pains , You are a strong woman and we love you so much . You have a beautiful smile . Don't stop smiling.

Catherine De Freitas

Hello my beautiful sis. I am good thank you. :) How are you? Thank you so much for your kind words. I am humbled. Have a nice day sis. Hugs and blessings .

Chi8629
Jun 27
Jun 27

Iam fine darling .You are welcome anytime Sister .
You too Love . Bless you.

maeann
Jun 27
Jun 27

Catherine Hi :) How are you today? I hope you are doing well.

Education is really vital to our society. Your heart of reaching at least one child to support their education is one small act of kindness in bringing a dream come true. A simple way of doing this is what I called child sponsorship.

Our childhood experienced makes us strong today. Your achievement brought you to be a woman who does have the capacity to fulfill the dream of a child.

Catherine De Freitas

Hello my beautiful sister. I am good thank you. I hope that you are wonderful. Your kind words sincerely touched my heart. Thank you so much. God's richest blessings to you and your family. :)

Shirin Dalaki
Jun 27
Jun 27

Dear Catherine,

I was touched by your story and made me realize how far you have come from and how strong you are. Thank you for sharing the benefit of education with us and contributing to children's education. I am sorry about what happened to you in your childhood, it was sad but you had the courage and determination to turn it all around. I applaud you. Thank You.

Shirin

Catherine De Freitas

Dearest Shirin,
Thank you so much for your kind words. The journey was not easy but Gods strength kept me. I am humbled. :) Blessings to you sis.

Shirin Dalaki
Jul 01
Jul 01

Yes Catherine, I know for the fact that when everyhting else fails faith keeps us going. I also admire your mother who encouraged you and told you not to give up.

Catherine De Freitas

Yes sis, she was our rock. I miss her everyday. How are doing sis? Hope all is well with you. hope you have a wonderful day. keep smiling :)

Jul 01
Jul 01
This comment has been removed by the commenter or a moderator.
Shirin Dalaki
Jul 02
Jul 02

Oh my dear Catherine, I hear you...I miss my mom everyday too. I am doing all right today, thanks for asking. Have a wonderful day and keep smiling. I love your smile.

Hello, Catherine, my Queen from Trinidad and Tobago,

How I love this post so much! This resonates so much to me, "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".

I love to teach, too. I volunteered as a teacher for four school years long time ago.

You're such a resilient woman to be able to rise up from that abusive parenting. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story, dear.

Catherine De Freitas

Hello my beautiful sis. You make me smile :) Thank you so much for your positive and encouraging words. I am so happy to hear how much you love to teach. :) I appreciate you. Hope all is well on your end. Love and blessings.

You're welcome, dear sister. Awww. Thank you for your appreciation. All is well, dear. Love and blessings to you, too!