Sergio is a seventeen year old young man in Purushila. He is one of the seven members of the third and last year of what is called the basico level of school. It would be the equivalent of grade 9. Sergio is one of the students who receives a scholarship to apply to his schooling. (The scholarship program is run by the twin 9th grade daughters of Dr. Coral Matus). Sergio is also a student in the English and mathematics class that I taught three times a week in Purushila.
Each month Ismael meets with the scholarship students individually and in a group. I happened to be around when Ismael was meeting with Sergio. I told Ismael that I found Sergio to be one of my best students. Ismael took my word and appointed Sergio to be the student leader of the huge community garden that SewHope is assisting with. Sergio is an excellent leader and a hard worker and the students follow his lead.
About two months ago, Ismael took many of the basico students to see his gardens, chickens and fish pond at his house in Santa Ana. Ismael wanted to show the students what was possible with a bit of planning and a lot of hard work. Sergio was among the students who participated. I remember that Sergio was right next to Ismael throughout the tour and listened attentively to the explanations that Ismael gave.
Here is the kicker: Sergio went back to his house and to created a fish pond. He fenced in an area and set up a garden. He bought a chicken which has already had chicks. These things did not take a lot of money, but did take a lot of time. And when we stopped at his house to see what he had created, we found him hard at work at his studies. WE ARE SO PROUD OF SERGIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This young man was presented with an opportunity and he is running with it! Nothing could make us happier!!!!!!
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012