Anthony José de Paz Pérez

Birthday: January 5

Institution: Pan y Vida School -8th Grade

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Anthony de Paz

Life with my mother and grandmother is not always easy, but we always try to be there for each other.  My mother is in charge of providing food for the whole family.  She works every day selling food; that is the only way she earns income, My grandmother, who lives with us, has an illness that does not allow her to stand for a long time because her legs swell.  That means I am the only person who can help my mother with all the work involved in selling street food.  I worry a lot about our family’s financial situation and also about caring for my grandmother.  I wish I could be in school or at Engadi Transformation Center more, but I need to work with my mother to support our family.  Our work day sometimes goes until midnight or later, which exposes us to the dangers of a neighborhood like the Paraíso Neighborhood. After collecting everything and cleaning, we finish at 2 am.  Because of those late hours, I don’t always attend Derek Group.  My mother thinks Derek Group is important, so sometimes she will not allow me to help, just so I can meet with Derek Group, which I joined in 2015.  At other times, I go from house to house asking if there is any domestic chore I can help with in exchange for money or construction materials. 

In the past I used to have another support in my life: my older sister.  She worked seasonally and always encouraged me to stay in school.  She wanted me to be a professional and be able to help our family.  Unfortunately, she took another path and got pregnant, so she no longer lives with us.

I am a hard worker, and I’m always ready to help.  I love helping construction teams when I have the chance.  I want to become a teacher and help other children to get ahead in life.

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