I know that dreams can come true with perseverance and small steps of faith. One of my dreams is to be a nurse and to work serving the children of my community. I began my classes of professional technical nursing at the Institute St. Pablo in January 2016.

I arrived at my first class with many worries and fears. I have always been very timid, and that day I arrived late because I had gone to the wrong classroom. When I finally arrived at the right room I saw with dismay that the students had already formed into groups from previous assignments. Two girls with big smiles said, “Come be a part of our group.” So here I am!

The courses that we have begun during March are Epidemiology, Emergency First Response, Anatomy, and Immunology. Each day we are given written and oral exams over what we have learned. Thanks to God, I am making good grades that hopefully will continue because my family has high hopes for me.

I show my graded practices to the Operación San Andrés social worker and talk with her about my studies. When I have to prepare my work on a computer, Operación San Andrés lets me use an office computer in the afternoons when one is free. I also have taken a course in Basic Microsoft Office which has helped me a great deal.

I remember when I was in high school I couldn’t express myself because I sweated and stuttered, but now I have gained confidence. I’m learning to relate to other people; I can explain the topics I need to investigate and I’m learning to express my own ideas.

In the Institute the professors are very motivating; they constantly raise our spirits and remind us that in the near future we will also be professionals.

When I go back home the neighbors see me and say, “Sheylla is bringing honor to her family.” When they greet me this way I feel very happy and proud to be achieving my dreams, because I know that there are many young people who want to study but cannot because they cannot afford to. I know that I must take full advantage of what God has given me through Operación San Andrés.

Many thanks to my brothers and sisters at Operación San Andrés!

With affection,
Sheylla Luna Mariano