“My mother has a complicated life story: she lost her mother very young and, since she was 8-years-old, she has had to work in the fields with her father and siblings to get the family ahead, so she couldn’t study. She married very young, at the age of 16, and went to live in Sao Paulo. She did not have a professional career because she dedicated himself to taking care of us, but she has always been clear that study was the best tool we had to change our lives.
In my neighbourhood, most of our friends left school at the age of 13 or 14 to work and help their parents, but my mother always encouraged us not to do the same, even if we needed that help, and she was always looking for support programs for families. She pointed us to classes from a young age – to free extra courses, English classes, administrative assistant training, professional skills … Everything I could find! She forced us to study a lot and told us that we could do everything we wanted, despite financial limitations, if we had focus, patience, values, and we did not accept the circumstances of our environment (which were not easy), because we could be more and better. It filled us with confidence!
Thanks to my mother, who has never let us give up even if it was not easy, I have been able to study, speak languages, go to university, have a career, live outside my country with a profession … And when I look back at where I come from and how far I’ve been able to go, I owe it all to my mother. Not only as a professional, but as a good person: helping the next, with empathy, enjoying life…
Although she did not have a mother to inspire her, she has been able to transmit to her children all this love and strength – not to give up. There is a phrase that she always says: ‘Build a life that makes you feel proud to live, the limit is you.’
Today, when I want to do something and my fears block me, I think of all that my mother has taught me, I am filled with confidence and palante.”