Bilingual is Better

One of my favorite cultural traditions has to be the art of storytelling. It comes in many forms. Whether it be the simple rhyme that a mother uses, a legend, or the personal stories of an individual. Many times stories are the only record of a person’s life. They are a legacy they pass down to their children. That’s what has always fascinated me about this art form, and how personal it can be.

My mom has been a storyteller of many kinds throughout the years for my siblings and I. I have fond memories of the many, many books my siblings and I read with my mother and of the stories she made up on her own. But my favorite, and the one that has stuck throughout the years are her personal stories. One story she often shared with me was about growing up in El Salvador. Her family was very poor and could not afford to send her to school after she had completed her elementary education. My mother was crushed. Even at a young age, she wasn’t willing to settle for that. So she began working to pay for her books and uniform to attend middle school. She worked picking cotton alongside her father, and really any field work that was given to her she took gladly. The story has been repeated many times, but new details always emerge and those are what I remember most. The way the heat of the sun in El Salvador is unlike any other, how the bur of the cotton plants would cut her cuticles, the bag she would drag through the fields and how it would get bigger and heavier as the day went on. Each detail made the story come alive a little more as I began to piece together what her childhood must have been like. And each detail brought the world that seemed so far away and long ago little closer.

Maybe she knows of the power that a story can have, because I understood her message without her having to give me long speeches about opportunity and responsibility. The message stuck. I’ve always loved going to school, and never questioned whether or not I would go to college. I knew it would happen, even if my parents didn’t have the means to send me. If my mother was able to send herself to school at such a young age, I could to. And really, compared to her what did I have to complain about? I talked to college counselors, sat down in front of a computer and researched about financial aid and scholarships. Sure, it was stressful. But I would think about my mother’s stories and suddenly it all became easy.  I knew that there were opportunities out there, it was just a matter of finding them.

Destapa Tu Futuro scholarshipI’m thankful I’m able to share this story, and also share a great opportunity with anyone out there who is currently looking into a higher education. Coca-Cola and the Hispanic Scholarship Found teamed up to provide Hispanic students with $300,000 in scholarships. 

For more information you can visit the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Students have to answer three essay questions that reflect how their heritage affects their career goals, the importance of education in their lives, and their community service experiences.

The deadline to apply is October 31st!

Click here to apply.

It’s only a little less than two weeks before the Destapa su Futuro or Uncap Their Future Scholarship deadline, so please hurry! Many of us SpanglishBaby readers might be years away from having to send a child to college. But we can all encourage a friend, family member, or simply spread the word. Just by spreading the word you could be sending a student the opportunity to show that they deserve this.

{Photo by wrightbrosfan on flickr}

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Coca-Cola and Latina Bloggers Connect.

Lidia Sagastume is a recent college graduate with a B.A. in Creative Writing. She lives in Los Angeles where she works as a freelance writer and editorial assistant for SpanglishBaby.com.

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