Hello, My name is Julia Saravia, I am 17 years old and currently a senior at Oakland High, class of 2013. I have been living in Oakland, Ca for my whole life. I have been victim of crime and abuse growing up in this town but my main motto in life is to “Live life to the Fullest”, no matter what life may bring I always find a way to look for the bight side in life.
My story takes place the summer of 2012, I had the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua with an organization called Global Glimpse. Their main goal is to teach bay area students what's it like to live somewhere else in the world. To be honest, I didn't know exactly what to expect, I just knew that it would change my views on life.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
We had the grand opportunity to shadow this Nicaraguan based organization called Las Hormiguitas, which would help educate children from the streets and the dumps so they could have a better chance in life. Those words would always ring in my head.The dump. When I thought of a dump, I thought of the cartoons where there's a big hill that has a big bulldog at the top with his bone.
I never realized that my reference would be way off. From the moment we arrived at the dump, I wanted to break down, I was speechless. The smell was unbearable, when we got off the bus, I quickly forgot about it since in reality this was their homes, as a humble person I had to respect it. I saw women with their newborn baby's, small children and teenagers all working there. I was shocked to see that there was so much people there. In the United States we aren't showed these horrible imagines. Yet, I would like for you to take a moment to think about the massive amounts of waste we produce and how we can lower that amount. As I walked toward a little girl named Hassel, she was 6 years old. I smiled at her but she didn't smile back. I decided I would try to gain her trust. I told her she was very beautiful and that made her have this huge smile on her face. Her teeth were so rotten and black it was so confusing to understand to see a small girl so unhealthy. I wanted to teach her to write numbers, I keeled beside her to get to her level since she was getting frustrated that she couldn't get it right. As a grabbed her hand someone threw rotten eggs at me. I quickly stood up and looked around, I was so heartbroken that someone would do something like that to me. Hassel tugged my shirt and told me "Lo ese! Mira!" meaning I did it, look!, in Spanish. Her giant smile, the way she wanted to be educated and wanted me to teach her, I forgot about everything and for that moment we were alone, nothing could stop me from teaching and her from learning.
That little girl really changed the way I view life, and I really want to be a teacher because it comes so nature to me. I can't imagine myself doing anything then to find a way to help these kids, it's my new goal in life since these kids are the future. The poverty cycle would stop if we find ways to help the new generations.
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