“Education is the best legacy you can give your family”`
Jorge A. Fernández, San Juan, PR
It’s amazing to know that everything I have accomplished began with the phrase, “Education is something that no one can take away from you, sweetie." My father said this to me over a hundred times during my educational journey from preschool to high school. At first I thought it was something that parents are suppose to say like, “Make good choices!” or “Clean your room!” but it was when I arrived to college that I realized this statement was very relevant to me. Because my parents stuck this idea in my head from a very early stage in my life, I decided to work hard in school. Therefore, when I become successful, the people who I will thank the most are my parents.
My name is Mariana Fernández, I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I am currently a sophomore at Loyola University Maryland, and my majors are International Business and Theatre. My future goals consist on combining the two areas I love, to create an international theatre company, that travels from country to country presenting different plays. Once they perform the shows, the company would donate most of its proceeds to a local charity in the host country. Many people believe my goals are really ambitious, but because I consider myself an optimist who takes challenges head-on; I am excited to tackle this dream. I believe that if you work hard you will be successful, because everything that is worthwhile takes effort to obtain. This “life philosophy” was constructed by the lessons my parents taught me. Both my mother and my father have been present throughout my development as a person, but most importantly as a scholar.
Despite their support, we tend to take for granted most of the wisdom our parents share with us. But suddenly, there comes a time when something clicks in our head that says, “They were right!” There are a lot of crucial things that my parents taught me that made me the woman I am today. The most repetitive lecture I would get every time I didn’t want to do my homework was, “We don’t nag you to study because we like it; we want you to study for yourself." Although at first this seemed like insignificant parental pestering, I later realized the purpose of studying was not to please my parents, but to become a better and more educated person.
Apart from that, my mother and my father emphasized the fact that, to become educated is to “expose yourself to an endless fountain of knowledge that will give you a better understanding of yourself and the world around you” (Fernández). This perspective helped me realize that the thirst for knowledge is one that can never be fulfilled, because the moment you think you’ve satisfied your desire, you settle for mediocrity. The lessons that my parents taught me are the elements that comprise who I am and who I want to become.
Like my mother and father, many parents are aware of the importance of their child’s education. Although most adults are conscious of the significance of learning, some of them do not know how to express the proper support for the development of their kids.
According to the PBS Parents site, to become the proper model for your children you must: “Pay attention to what your child loves," “tune into how your child learns," “practice what your child learns at school," “set aside time to read together," “connect what your child learns, to everyday life," “connect what your child learns, to the world," and “help your child take charge of his learning." It has been proven that if parents play an active role and support their children, their kids are more likely to be successful in the future.
Also, the National Center for Education Statistics discovered that when “parent involvement is low, the classroom mean average (reading score) is 46 points below the national average." Therefore, to guarantee success for children, parents need to get involved and accompany their kids through the educational journey to literacy.
It is also important to take into consideration the social aspect literacy plays in our lives. “Without literacy skills today's adults will struggle to take part in the world around them and fail to reach their full potential as parents, community members, and employees.” Reading and writing are more than just skills necessary for a job; they’re gifts that help us communicate and become a part of society. Therefore, to become an active member of the world, one must become literate, and to become literate, one needs the support of the figures that surround us.
As I look back, I realize the great influence my parents had on my perspective on education and life in general. Not only did they help me value everything I learned, but they also taught me that learning is something that “no one can take away from you.” Because they cared enough, they gave me the most fruitful legacy: the undying thirst for education. We, sons and daughters, do appreciate the time you invest in our education, although we don’t show it often. In the long run children will look back and say the exact thing I say today: Thank you, mom and dad!