Paola Hernandez is the oldest of 4 siblings. Her position as eldest is an important fact that has manifested itself already in her short life. About 4 years ago, Paola’s sister was admitted to Liga MAC’s student support program and more recently our Spanish and Math Tutoring program.
The volunteer facilitated tutoring program was held at our Centro de Apoyo; and Paola who accompanied her younger sister to the Centro, waited for her on the Centro’s patio beside an open window where she could clearly hear the progress made from the tutoring classes.
Waiting and listening, she was inspired to do something for herself and asked the instructor if she could join the class although she was not in the student support program. The facilitator decided she could attend.
When Paola was 12, her mother left Paola’s abusive alcoholic father. Even at the tender age of 12, Paola supported her mother’s decision and saw as her duty the care of her siblings. While Paola’s mother cleaned construction sites, Paola was the surrogate mother to her 2 brothers and one sister. Her parents’ divorce adversely affected her sister, but in Paola’s case made her more focused.
She was admitted to Liga MAC’s student support program in Grade 10 and found that the tutoring classes plus diligent hard work helped keep her grades up even with the added responsibilities at home.
The industrious young woman also found employment to help out the family. Receiving assistance from Liga MAC with uniforms and tuition eased the financial burden and Paola found that “every (Liga MAC) seminar taught (her) something”.