Today’s interview is with Jennifer, a 13 year old student living in Vista Hermosa.
CFKLP: Thank you for doing this interview, Jennifer.Tell us a little about your family.
Jennifer: I live with my parents and younger brother. My father works as a security guard and my mother cleans an office. I was born in La Paz but we moved to the mainland for a while and returned seven years ago.
CFKLP: What’s the most important thing your parents have taught you?
Jennifer: To be a good person, to have good fellowship with others, to respect others and to be polite.
CFKLP: Those are beautiful qualities. Have you been able to live the way your parents have taught you?
Jennifer: Some students in school aren’t polite but I address everyone with respect and good words. I treat others as I would like to be treated. If people aren’t polite and don’t treat others with respect, there will be problems. I have friends but they realize I’m different and they treat me with respect and talk to me without using profanity. If someone wants to be my friend, they have to treat me with respect. People who use profanity complicate life with their harsh words.
CFKLP: I couldn’t have said it better. What is the significance of education to you?
Jennifer: To have a good job, to develop it well and to help others. I also know that what I learn in one class can be applied to another class. For example, something I learn in biology, may be applied to Phys. Ed. You can do this in life. What I learn in biology, may help me make a right decision in a real life problem. Everything we learn at school can be applied to our lives.
CFKLP: What dreams do you have for your future?
Jennifer: I want to finish school and have a career but I don’t have any idea what that will be. I’ve been thinking of becoming a doctor and then I compare it with other careers and I really don’t know.
CFKLP: What’s your favourite subject at school?
Jennifer: Math and Biology. I like to solve complicated problems. It’s fun for me. I like to learn about my surroundings. We all take the sun for granted, for example, but we never pay attention to its importance in life. I realize how we take for granted all those things in nature but we don’t see the importance of them.
CFKLP: You’re doing amazingly well in school with a 10 GPA. Does school come easily to you?
Jennifer: I’ve always studied hard. I like to study. It’s easy. When we don’t pay attention and we fool around, everything is hard. I participate, I pay attention and hand in my homework.
CFKLP: What have you learned from your parents about education?
Jennifer: It’s important to be prepared, and to get knowledge so you won’t be cheated in life. You can face problems if you have a good education. And to value education and our teachers because they work so hard to teach us. If we don’t listen to them, we won’t get what they have to teach us.
CFKLP: What activities do you participate in school?
Jennifer: If someone important comes to our school, I’m usually asked to deliver the speech the teachers have written. I was the speaker on Flag Day (national holiday to honour the country’s flag). I was part of a presentation reading a poem to a teacher.
CFKLP: What do you do in your spare time?
Jennifer: I read suspense books. The school loaned me a book about how mummies were made. I was fascinated. I also like to write about how I’m doing at school or I’ll study a subject I’m having trouble with. I’ll help my brother with his homework, I play soccer and sometimes I play on my cell phone, but I don’t like to do that much.
CFKLP: Tell us about your community service.
Jennifer: I work in a library in another community. The library is run by retired teachers. I clean books, put the books back in their place and look for a book for someone. There are some computers with Internet and sometimes I’ll use them for homework. Our school doesn’t have Internet and we rarely have access to the computers there. Most of my homework requires Internet.
CFKLP: How would life be different if you didn’t have the scholarship?
Jennifer: We wouldn’t be able to buy some things like an English dictionary. It helps me get the supplies I need to study. Paying for the bus would become very hard and even though you don’t notice how much you’re spending, you notice it at the end of the month. I would still be able to go to school but it would be difficult.
I don’t take lightly the scholarship I’ve received. We have to value it and it comes with a big responsibility. We have to make an effort to bring good results. It’s not just taking but giving back.
CFKLP: How would you describe poverty?
Jennifer: People who don’t have a good wage. Life is difficult because the prices keep going up. They don’t have a good place to live, they struggle getting food, don’t have much clothing – only the basics – and don’t have a good quality of life. It’s a big struggle when their kids get sick because they don’t have the money for medicine.
CFKLP: How do you see your family in terms of what you’ve described?
Jennifer: You could say we are okay. We’re stable and don’t lack anything except light. (They don’t have electricity) Before the hurricane, we had three rooms built of concrete and a kitchen made of wood. One of the concrete rooms didn’t have a roof. After the hurricane, the kitchen was destroyed. So my father put a roof on the concrete room and we now use it as a kitchen. I sleep in the same room with my brother. We have a dirt floor in our room.
CFKLP: With a dirt floor, I’ve heard from other people that it’s not unusual to find snakes and cockroaches crawling through the room.
Jennifer: We used to when the rooms were made of wood but not so much now. We sweep the dirt floor to keep it clean and for me it doesn’t matter if the floor is concrete or not.
CFKLP: If you had all the money and time in the world, what would you do?
Jennifer: I’d fix up other communities that are worse than ours. I’d put lights in all the houses and build the houses out of concrete.
CFKLP: If you were the President of Mexico, what would you change to make this a better country to live in?
Jennifer: I’d have more work for people, better paid jobs, lower prices, and stop the violence because we shouldn’t be like that.
CFKLP: Is there something you’d like to say to our readers before we close this interview?
Jennifer: It’s a good thing to help. It’s not easy for us. Donations help us get the things we couldn’t get on our own. It’s important to improve our community and donations help us become better people. Thank you.