Every month, the Parent Partner Program will be profiling a different member of our Parent Leadership Team. We hope that you can find as much inspiration from reading about their personal growth and commitment to supporting their children as we have. This month, we are highlighting the story of Lizeth Garcia, parent leader and president of the English Learner Advisory Committee at Daniel Webster Elementary School. This year, Lizeth will be phasing out her involvement with us, because she has secured a full-time job that will start in November. We are very happy for Lizeth and wish her the best in this new phase.
I was born in a small town in the state of Sonora, Mexico. I didn’t have a chance to grow up near my father, but I did grow up with my mother and my five brothers and sisters. It was very difficult financially for my mother to raise six children, but in spite of that, all of us went to college. For me, not only was the support from my mother and brothers and sisters important, but also the support I got from my neighbors that took me in as if I was part of their family.
When I immigrated to the US, the first few months I spent in San Francisco were very hard. I remember how isolated I felt, it was hard to leave my room. I wanted to go back to Mexico as soon as possible. It was so disheartening to see people around me that placed too much importance on money and material things, not making room for friendship.
I became involved in my children’s education because, at the beginning I didn’t understand anything about how to navigate through the school district. I knew that in order to be able keep motivating my kids, I needed to be more involved than other parents. Now my children are talking about us all going to college together, even though I already have my degree. I feel proud that my children have the opportunity to explore their different interests and begin to think about what they might want to study in college. I believe this dream keeps them motivated and focused, keeping in mind that it doesn’t matter what you study, just that you do it.
One positive experience that I have had through my participation in the Parent Partner Program with Mission Graduates is that I now feel more confident to express my ideas and share my concerns with my children’s teachers and other staff at my children’s school. I hope to keep learning more and more!