Father leads by example, returns to school

Javier and Family

Javier with son Ever, daughter Heidy, and mother Marta.

Years ago, when his wife was still alive, Javier toyed with the idea of going back to school, having only attended through sixth grade. But by then he was the father of two young children and decided he needed to focus on his work to support his family. Still, Javier’s value in education remained, so he made it a priority for his children to study when they reached school age.

This year, Javier’s son Ever was poised to start junior high and surpass his father’s education level––but he needed some extra encouragement to keep going with his schooling. It had been a challenging stretch for the family, having struggled to get by since the children’s mother died of cancer four years ago. Ever helps his father with work during the day, so perhaps in part for this reason he was reluctant to continue with school.

Thankfully, Ever’s grandmother found a night school for him, allowing him to continue helping his father during the day. And to motivate and keep an eye on him, Javier signed up for classes, too. Father and son go together, though they attend different classes, Javier on an accelerated adult track. Javier will finish 7th and 8th grade this year––at this rate, he could finish his high school degree in no time.

“I think education is very important,” Javier says, “because employers are demanding more and more.” An electrician by trade, he has struggled to find stable work over the years. Even when he finds it, he can’t always count on employers to pay him for his work. Javier hopes that his continued education will help his employability down the road, and that of his children.

Javier says he likes to study but that he may have to quit school again if he finds a more stable job. In the meantime, he is taking advantage of the time he has for school. And he’s setting a great example for his kids.

heidyNote: Javier’s daughter Heidy, who likes to be called Martita after her grandmother Marta, is in need of a sponsor. Like her father and brother, Martita works very hard in school, and she has been recognized by her peers for her hard work, having been elected as a “Little Miss,” or school representative. She dreams of one day becoming a teacher, a police officer, a doctor, or a saleswoman. Since her father has no steady income, it’s hard to buy food, much less school supplies. Sponsoring Martita would not only keep her in school, but it would also provide much-needed support to the whole family. To become Martita’s sponsor, send an email to Jessie Szopinski, call 651.917.0917, or sponsor her online.

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