2016 Essay Competition - View all entries

My Powerful Weapon

Coralys Feliciano - Hatillo, Puerto Rico

Nelson Mandala once said "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Growing up I had many dreams that I wanted to achieve, many goals to fulfill. There was one thing they all had in common; I needed an education. Since I was young I understood the importance of being educated, of learning new things. I always wanted to be learning and also help others learn. I knew that I could help others learn but also acquire new knowledge from them. I have always liked to help my classmates that were a little bit behind because they did not understand the material. I recognize that others around me also have dreams and goals that they want to achieve and they are also working hard to get them.

As I was evaluating my options on what could I study when I got to college I had different ideas on what I wanted to do, although deep inside I already knew I wanted to be a teacher. Throughout my life I have had teachers that always inspired me to do my best and to help others reach their best. Being a teacher I will be helping others acquire the knowledge they need to succeed in the future. I want to inspire my future students to fight for their dreams, to pursue the best education they can get. Knowledge is a powerful tool and I want to open that door to many others.

Before I finally decided to do a major in education I analyzed my other options and what all of them had in common. The main factor they all had was that I wanted a career where I could serve my community. I did not want to study something just because it paid a lot, for the benefits or just because I like it. I wanted to pursue a career that I loved but also a career in which I could help others around me. When I finally decided that I wanted to be a teacher I specifically wanted to be an English teacher. As I grew up, sadly, I did not have too many good English teachers, I could say that I only had two or three. I had to learn on my own, through music, watching television, reading, doing everything I could. Being born on a Spanish speaking country, I have seen that not many people give importance to learning another language and that is reflected in our education system. Knowing a second language has opened doors for me in the past, to competitions, internships and participating in summer programs. There are so many benefits when you learn another language and I want to help young people understand that they will have more opportunities if they put more effort into learning a second language.

I hope that by pursuing this career I can help my community and my country to progress. I want the best for "mi gente," my people. I want to be a person that inspires others to do everything possible to reach their goals, to get a higher education. As Mandela said, that is the most powerful weapon they can obtain to succeed in life.