Student Works

WOMEN AND LITERACY

By Jeannette

I was born and grew up in the Bronx in New York. I loved living there. I lived with my mom and my stepfather. He was like my real dad. I had three sisters and two brothers.

I was curious about everything going on in the house. I saw everything and knew everything. I always tried to help my family members if they needed something.

Most of the time, it was my mother who needed the help. It was difficult for her. It was as though I could see things through her eyes. When she got nervous, I tried to be there for her.

School was my favorite place to be but most of the time I kept to myself. I liked to talk to the teachers and help them. I was afraid to have friends, but if someone came and wanted to play with me, I usually did. That didnít happen often, so I spent most of the time reading and learning. I loved learning something new. Once you mastered it you felt so good.

Later on however, I got sick. I had a teacher that was not a good teacher. Even though I had good grades, she didnít promote me. My mom fought the decision. She knew how hard I had worked. She went to the principal, and the school decided to place me with a tutor. This teacher worked with me. She gave me a test and said that I was progressing nicely. I thought that I would be promoted. But all that changed.

My mom made a decision to move to Puerto Rico. Everything turned bad for me. Nothing went right. I didnít understand Spanish and I missed some school, so they kept me back a grade. I ended up dropping out of high school.

Now I am here at MUA (Mujeres Unidas en Accion) trying to get my GED. Iíve taken the test unsuccessfully four times. It seems like every time I try to study, personal problems come up. I canít concentrate in class or I canít make it to class. Iím unable to study enough, so I fail.

I donít have anyone to help me with my baby. When I want to study, I canít because she demands all of my attention. Sometimes it seems like no one understands how difficult it is to be a single parent.

I want to do better and be better. I have a lot to give, but at times when it gets so hard I just want to hide inside myself. I am in school right now and I am concentrating on that. I am not sure how I am going to reach my goals, but Iím going to keep on trying until I do.