At their Jr. High School in the mountains Butuo County, we asked a class of Grade 8 girls the same question we were asked at their age: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Most girls answered that they wanted to be a doctor, teacher, or famous singer. I found it curious that the girls wanted to enter into the same professions, despite each of their unique qualities and talents.
When we returned to Xichang, a larger city outside of Butuo, we ran a similar Career Workshop with a different class of girls and asked them the same question. We were pleasantly surprised by a host of varied and enthusiastic answers: lawyer, chef, fashion designer and shop owner, music teacher, engineer! These students were older and had received more education than the younger students in Butuo.
We worked with the students to create their own “Dream Boards” to show their hopes and dreams and who they aspired to become in the future. One of the students had the most thoughtful Dream Board. It showed that she wanted to travel the world, become a lawyer, or an accountant, or a ballet dancer, get married and become a good mother.
When she presented her Dream Board to our group, she said, “I used to only have one dream. But the future is uncertain, so we must have many dreams. You must be who you want to be!”
The students in Xichang grew up in Butuo County and have had to overcome many obstacles to get where they are today. In spite of their difficult journeys, the girls in Xichang dared to dream to enter such creative and personalized professions because their education has allowed and inspired them to.
On this GCELE, my ideas on the value of education were reinforced. Education has the power to reach into a seemingly hopeless situation, widen horizons, open doors to opportunities for growth and excellence, and maximize potential.
Education truly makes a profound difference. It is a priceless gift. You and I have the power to give it!
– Althea Gorospe