irvin-85The decisions you make follow you and take you into paths that are full of other decisions. In the last few months of my freshman year at Dartmouth I made the decision that the best way that I could help people would be by studying something in the social sciences. That decision led to me decided that I wanted to be a Government major with a focus on the immigrant population in the United States. It feels great to finally have a clear idea of what I want to do with my life (insert nervous laugh here).

It seems that life brings you opportunities determined by what your goals are. I can personally attest to this since by mere chance, I got the opportunity to take part in literacy classes at a local community center. The people that I work with are mostly older immigrants from Mexico whom did not have the chance to learn how to read while they lived there. Their ages range from 43 to 60, yet despite the difference in age, there is a common desire to learn how to read and write. For my students (as I like to call them), being able to write is a great success, a success that brings me great joy since I feel that I am leaving a long lasting impact in their lives. I never thought that I would find what I want to do with my life at a community center during summer afternoons. I want to work with my community, my people, my brothers and sisters to empower them and give them the opportunities and skills necessary for them to attain a better life. I look forward to every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon and to see what the next letter and syllables we will be working on. It takes a lot of patience to teach someone how to read and write but the wait is worth it once I see the smile forming in their lips after they read or write a word.

I could not have asked for a better thing to do during the summer. I have found what I want to do and the funniest thing is that I found it away from the classroom and libraries of Dartmouth. I found it in my very own town, with my neighbors and country-men. This has been the summer that my life has begun to change and it is a lesson that has been reinstated: most of the learning in life takes place outside of the classroom.

I hope that you guys are being productive during your summer. Read! Write! Enjoy the time with your families!