Friday, July 18, 2014

Olga's Story

Before I leave San Jose, here is a true story of a mother that raised 3 successful sons in the south side of San Jose.

Olga and her husband came from Mexico with nothing except a dream of a better life in America. Her husband took any job to support the family. She became the stay-at-home mom who watched everything including her sons who shared school life with her. She had vigilant eyes and I can tell you from observation that Olga has a strong work ethic and is happy to clean toilets and the gym.

Her story unfolded over a number of visits with her. When her middle son was in junior high, he just announced to her that he wouldn't be going to school that day. He wasn't sick – he just felt lazy.

"Fine," Olga, said, "Here is the broom. You can go outside now and sweep all the leaves until they are gone." He swept and swept. When his friends walked by, he still was busy. This son graduates from San Jose State this December in criminology.

Good parenting is essential. Olga never let down her vigilance. She went through their backpacks and clothes pockets everyday. She knew where they were at all times. No parties happened without adults present in the house. Parenting takes lots of work. Kids can still make bad choices, but discipline and a strong work ethic plus insistence on an education have paid off. 

Olga was shocked to tell me about friends who had worked hard at their jobs but grown sons, dropped out of school, now sit around the house, expecting parents to feed, clothe them, etc.
In Project Lost Sheep, we encourage education and we also have Parenting Classes, because adults need reinforcement to do the job.
"My husband has always backed up the discipline," Olga says. "He has gone from temporary jobs to having his own business of a floor installation company".

Let's applaud those who work hard to make the real American Dream.

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