Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Making Wishes Come True

By Miraisy Rodriguez

Soon after attending the 2011 Raices Cuba Conference in Boston, the Miami Roots Board I volunteer with began planning “Bowl for a Cause,” because we heard of non-governmental afterschool youth programs on the island that were in need of our help.

Not too long ago I wrote that my wish for Cuban Youth this year was that they would learn something, anything. I wrote about wanting youth on the island to give me something to fight for. Feeling perhaps a little run down by the quick changes happening in the Middle East, as compared to the stagnation in the country I was born in, I wrote with a yearning for action from within the Island.

As life would have it, the universe heard my call; though granted, perhaps the universe interpreted my blog post a little differently than I would have intended.

I have three cousins, six, fourteen and seventeen, who recently arrived from Cuba. Talking to them about their education has been quite shocking. The oldest one tells me of a lack of teachers, of math classes being taught by students her own age who barely understand what they’re teaching. The youngest one is exemplary of a lack of student preparation in the formative years: where the average six year old in this country has started reading, can count to 100, and can spell her name, we have only just begun to teach my little cousin the alphabet (in Spanish and English).

When I heard that there were non-governmental centers in Cuba working on youth development after school and that there is a list of supplies they need, I turned to the Miami Roots Board with hope and enthusiasm, and they responded.

This coming Thursday we’re hosting a bowling event through which we hope to collect gift cards (from stores like Toys R’ Us and Office Max) that can be used to buy the supplies these afterschool care centers have asked for. I said in my earlier post that I wished Cuban youth would give me something to do for them, and now they have.

I will proudly go to “Bowl for a Cause” this Thursday with my little grain of sand (shaped like a gift card)!

Will you join me?

Miraisy Rodriguez was born in Santa Clara, but raised in Miami. She is a second year law student who likes to blog on her free time and volunteers with the Miami Roots’ Network. Her personal blog may be found at www.miraisy.com

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