Amparo de Jesús Payano
We are so proud of the progress of our students every single day at The Cigar Family School. Today, we are putting a very well-deserved spotlight on former student Amparo de Jesús Payano. Amparo was part of the very first school class – the first to graduate 8th grade from the Cigar Family School and is currently working as a Computer teacher there from Pre-School to 6th Graders. We asked Amparo if she could answer a few questions for us, in English, despite Spanish being her first language and she gave us a truly amazing overview of her story!
*The following answers were recieved in english, as Amparo’s second language*
Q: When/what year did you graduate from the Cigar Family School?
A: I graduated from high school in 2009, which corresponds to the first graduation promotion of the center, which was called TRUST. Together with my classmates Jeanny Elizabeth, who is now a psychologist at the Cigar family, Eneroliza who is now a math teacher at the Cigar family, Jennifer Santana, who is a doctor today, Unfalia de la Cruz, who is a teacher in the Cigar family, Amaurys Miguel, among others.
Q: And what have you been doing since?
A: I graduated in 2010 from the University of Computer Science
Since I graduated from the university I started working at the Cigar Family School as a teacher assistant in the area of computer science, then I became a Primary Level Computer Science Teacher, which is what I am currently exercising. A few months ago I started working to train teachers to implement technology in their classes as a facilitator of the Digital Republic Program; which is a Government Program which seeks to change the way in which the teaching is taught in the schools of the country through the technology implementation. I am currently a Computer Teacher from Pre-School to Sixth Grade of the Primary Level and Teacher of Cigar Family Teachers and another nearby community center.
Q: What is your favorite memory from the Cigar Family School?
A: There have been so many beautiful memories that I don’t know which one has been one of the best. But I can mention my 8th grade graduation which was the first one made by the Center in 2005, and also my second graduation in 2009 as a bachelor, which was the first promotion of the Center.
Q: How did the Cigar Family School help you achieve your goals?
A: My friends from the Center always helped me with their good advice. They taught me that I had to study in order to have a better future. When I went to University they helped me financially during all periods of my career. Cigar family took care of all my University expenses, food, housing, tuition, transportation, materials, laptop, etc. All my expenses in general for 6 years.
Q: What do you want people who donate to the Foundation to know?
A: I would like everyone to know that there are many children who need support in order to change their reality. If I had not found the support of the Foundation, I would not have been able to study and go to the University. Like me there are many children who want to overcome challenges in life and deserve an opportunity and we must give it to them so they can have a better future.
I admire a lot of all the people who help others improve their living conditions. I am extremely grateful to all of you because I don’t know what would happen to me if I hadn’t found support to get ahead. My life today is much better and I am a useful person to society thanks to your collaboration. Thousands of applause to all the members of the Foundation.
And the most important word I would say is THANK YOU.
Q: Can you tell us your story in your own words?
A: I have been part of the Center since the beginning, because I participated in the inauguration in 2004, I started in 8th grade. At that time there was only Primary school, then I would goto High School 1RO which meant a total sadness for me because I knew I would leave the Center and I would not be there anymore – I had to find another school. So I decided to speak with Mr. Carlos Fuente about the problem. He told me not to leave and stay for the first grade of High School in the School Library because we didn’t have another building. Suddenly they started to build another building for the Secondary Level and I was happy, I no longer had to leave the Center.
I did my secondary studies at Cigar Family as I dreamed. In this period I was part of the dance body and also participated as a tour guide when we received visits to the Center. I was a meritorious student every year and student council president. In 2009 we celebrated the first graduation of the Center which bore the name of TRUST. Then I went to college with a full scholarship from the foundation which paid all my university expenses and today I am proud to be working at Cigar Family returning part of what I have received in all these years. I have been part of Cigar Family School for 16 years and I am very proud and happy. Every day I thank God for this great opportunity and I will always be very grateful to the foundation.
Today I have a 19-month-old son and I live with my husband, I have the best friends in the world at Cigar Family, I am very grateful to God for all that he has given me every day.