I Am Intelligent
After Jean Carlos failed third grade for a second time, Margarita decided to pull him out of school, wanting to protect her son as he struggled with low self-esteem. The Compassion child development centre Jean attended heard of this and came up with a plan to help him to achieve his potential.
17 Jun, 2015
Jean Carlos tried to ignore the cruel remarks of the children at school. “You are ignorant. You don’t know anything,” they’d taunt him. But no matter how hard he tried to shrug them off, the words stung.
“I used to feel so bad when they said that to me,” says Jean Carlos.
In a poor community in Magdalena, Colombia, Jean lives with his mother, his six siblings, and his niece. His mother, Margarita, works long days at the beach selling hand-made bracelets and making braids for the tourists.
While Jean was obedient, respectful and friendly, he struggled academically. After he failed third grade for a second time, Margarita decided to pull him out of school, wanting to protect her son as he struggled with low self-esteem. The Compassion child development centre Jean attended heard of this and came up with a plan to help Jean to achieve his potential.
With the help of Compassion staff Fernando and Gladys, Jean received tutoring classes from Monday to Friday, plus school supplies like notebooks, pencils and books to help improve his learning. And there was a lot to learn—at the beginning of the year, Jean couldn’t even identify vowels.
A year on after receiving special help, Jean can now confidently read, write, add, subtract, multiply and divide. He knows the multiplication tables and can write in two different styles.
But perhaps the biggest improvement is how the young boy feels about himself. “I have shown them that I am intelligent,” says Jean Carlos. “I know that I am not ignorant.”
“I am so happy to be able to release Jean from cognitive poverty,” says Gladys. “I know he will reach big goals and I am happy to be part of his learning process.”
Jean feels loved at his Compassion child development centre. He is happy because his tutor is teaching him, and so excited to start attending regular school again. Margarita is so grateful Compassion encouraged Jean not to give up.
“I tell him that he should study to have a better future,” says Margarita. “If I had studied, I would not be making braids at the beach. I do not have more options, but Jean has.”
Give to the Education and Training Critical Need to help provide children like Jean Carlos with the life-changing education and skills the require in order to reach their God-given potential.
Words by Lina Marcela Alarcón and Monique Wallace Photos by Lina Marcela Alarcón