Juntos: Our Stories with Antonia
Meet Antonia - “Juntos Mom” and facilitator
Kyle Yeager Photography
When I was invited to be a facilitator, the training asked us about our dreams. My dreams were to finish my master’s degree. After helping to start Juntos in Culver, I talked with my university, and learned that it is possible to finish my degree after 15 years! So now, I am telling the Juntos kids to go for their goals as I go for mine. It’s hard! But we can all do something to further our education.
I think the families in my program believe in two Americas. One version is what you see in movies and T.V. shows. Everyone has a nice house, good job, and all the kids go to college. Then, there’s the reality they see around them: parents waking up at three a.m. for a job, working so incredibly hard, and experiencing many disadvantages. It’s hard for my daughter to learn about equal rights in school, and then to see injustice happen around her. Don’t get me wrong. We are all very grateful to this country. We pay our taxes and see them spent on safe roads, respectful police, high-quality schools. Our community is so grateful. We just want our kids to have all the same advantages as everyone else.
We want our kids to able to integrate in the community, and not only take advantage of all the positive things America can offer; we also want our kids to give back to this community and be of service to those around them. Education is how our kids can learn enough to give back.
Now, these kids are saying college is possible. It gives them hope. They don’t have to be left out of society any longer. My own daughter observes other young people making poor decisions, and she’ll say, “They need to go to Juntos!” It’s changing the mindset of this generation.