I am such a strong believer that if you have a calling in life, follow it. Each and every one of us are made up of so many unique talents and gifts, which we could (and should) use to positively impact humanity. If I’m here breathing, I have a contribution I can make to not only my community, but to other communities around the world, as well. For me, that passion, fire, and never ending desire to contribute, which drives my work and has always brought me so much fulfillment, is education. When I arrived to the U.S. from Cuba at an early age, I could barely comprehend the world around me. I, therefore, did not initially appreciate or fully grasp all the sacrifices my parents made for my brother and I. It wasn’t until later on that I started to truly discern the challenges they endured: attempting to assimilate to a new culture; working to provide for the family; learning a new language, etc.
My parents have exchanged stories with me of all the obstacles they had to overcome; what may seem relatively small and “easy” to most, such as driving, communicating, or knowing the “norms” of American culture, was a source of significant stress. Watching how my parents exemplified resiliency and continued to work and endlessly sacrifice their lives for my brother and I was awe-inspiring. This, in turn, enabled me to cultivate an understanding of what true hard work, grit, and determination was all about. If my parents could do it, my brother and I could do it.
Throughout my life, I continuously heard the quote, “Hard work pays off” and it resonated with me. When I was in high school, I was questioned a lot about my work ethic with statements like, “Yudy, why are you doing so much? Do you ever a get a break?” However, for me, it was normal to work hard, to stay after school for events, to come back from band practice and do AP work, and lastly, to then wake up early the next day and repeat. Why? Because that was me doing my best, as my parents demonstrated my entire life, and I didn’t want to settle for less. My senior year of high school, I was given the biggest blessing life has ever given me: I was awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship, a scholarship for minority students given to 1,000 students nationwide, which guarantees a full-ride to any accredited college or University for 10 years of school. I still remember the day I won that award; an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment was felt because of everything my parents had given and taught me.
During my undergrad years, I continued to pursue my passion in education and grew a love for learning. I studied abroad in Peru and taught English; visited Finland and interviewed teachers in one of the most successful educational systems; visited deteriorated classrooms in Cuba (my hometown); became president of the Education Student College Council; and created a volunteer trip for university students. Now, as a teacher, I feel like there is so much more out there to see, learn and experience. I also recognize the gravity of my contributions and strive to serve children who have been disenfranchised. Thus, along with many other goals in life, my long term goal is to create a non-profit organization to help build schools in third-world countries. However, before I pursue this goal, I would like to continue to learn, volunteer, and contribute to other areas where my help is most needed. This year, with your support, I will finally be going to Ghana, Africa to teach English through the RCDP International Volunteer Program. I will be staying with a host family and teaching at Marvelous International, a school started by a Ghanian football player who retired and decided to give back by providing education to the children in his community. Those of you that know me know how EXCITED I am to finally pursue this goal! The money donated through this Go Fund Me will help me pay for my flight and travel expenses to reach my destination. It would mean the world to me if you could support; anything helps! I cannot wait to be in a classroom in Ghana, Africa and make an impact to children in Ghana. I can’t believe I’ll have the opportunity of a lifetime to make a difference, fuel the fire and passion of other students, and grow both professionally and personally. Thank you for reading my story and thank you in advance for your support.
Most respectfully, Yudeysis Cores ( Passionate Educator)
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