The best student in the class

The best student in the class. The highest grades in the class.  These are things that most students dream of, but for Geovanny they would never be possible. Geovanny was six years old and was just starting his academic career.  He is the youngest of 5 siblings, his father is an alcoholic without a job, and his mother washes clothes by hand on a concrete slab to make try and make ends meet. A common and familiar story for many in Quito.

Geovanny had been chosen to receive an EEH scholarship to attend public school through the church in his community called Dios Es Amor. There are lots of costs associated with school even when it is public and ‘free’, so with $15 a month he was excited to start learning.  Being the youngest of five, and with few resources at home emotionally or physically, Geovanny’s energy and rambunctiousness were not welcome at school. To the point that according to one of his classmates, the teacher beat him, and badly.

After that Geovanny had no interest in school, and in fact starting having panic attacks at the site of the school or even the name of the teacher. No matter what his mother did, it could not calm his crying and shrieking. He also happens to have a heart condition, so with her’s feeling very heavy, and that there were no other options, his mother decided to pull him out of school all together.  His fate was decided at 6 years old.  He would not learn how to read or write; he would be like his mother, illiterate, and the cycle would go on.