A Telescope for Victor
This is a story that comes along this time of year, We just consider ourselves fortunate enough to be a part of it.
In November, Univision Channel 34, a Spanish television station in Los Angeles does a 4 week presentation on STEM related activities parents can do at home with their kids. I have had the good fortune to work with Moana Ramirez and Dina Rodriguez of Univision to make this programming possible. It is a three minute “live presentation” early Monday mornings, so the school and the students we work with have to know their stuff. This year as we were preparing for the project ,my friend Cecilia Bogran also a reporter from Univision, asked if I might be able to provide a little more support this year with an email she had received from a mother in need.
Here is the email: (Translated in English, below)
QUERIDA CECILIA BOGRAN
ESPERO QUE SE RECUERDE DE MI SOY LA MAMA DEL BOY QUE NECESITA AYUDA PARA QUE ALGUNA PERSONA PUEDA DONARLE A MI HIJO UN TELESCOPIO COMO ESTE QUEBRADITO O VIEJITO NO IMPORTA, PERO QUIERO CONTARLE COMO ES MI HIJO SU NOMBRE ES VICTOR DESDE QUE EL NACIO Y COMENZO HABLAR CASI A LOS 12 MESES COMENZO A DECIR UNA FRASE ..MAMI I
WANT A GO TO THE SKY.. Y ASI PASO EL TIEMPO EMPECE A LEERLE LIBROS SOBRE PLANETAS, METEOROS, LA LUNA COMO GIRAN TODOS AL REDEDOR DEL SOL , AL PRINCIPIO PENSE QUE ERAN IDEAS QUE CAMBIARIAN AL PASAR EL TIEMPO PERO YA HAN PASADO 6 YEARS Y SIGO ESCUCHANDO LO MISMO INCLUSO ESTA NAVIDAD PASADA ME DIJO ..MAMI YO NO QYUERO TOYS YO QUIERO MY TELESCOPIO.. PERO NO TENEMOS DINERO PARA COMPRARLO, YO TRABAJO MUY DURO
PARA PONER 3 COMIDAS EN LA MESA TODOS LOS DIAS, Y COMO MADRE ESTOY MOTIVANDO A MI HIJO A QUE LE PONGA MUCHAS GANAS A LA ESCUELA Y QUE SIEMPRE HAGA LO MEJOR; LE VOY ANOTAR TODOS MIS DATOS MI NOMBRE JAZMIN YO COMO MADRE
ESTOY TAMBIEN TANDOLES ALAS AMIS HIJOS Y NUNCA LIMTARLOS EN LOS QUE ELLOS QUIEREN Y TAMBIEN AYUDANDOLES A PONERLES LAS HERRAMIENTAS EN SUS MANOS. LA EDUCACION PARA MI ES LO MAS IMPORTANTE PORQUE ES EL UNICO TESORO QUE NUNCA SE DEVALUA, Y LAS HISTORIAS MARAVILLOSAS DE SUPERACION SUELEN PASAR AQUI EN ESTADOS UNIDOS, POR FAVOR, POR FAVOR SI USTED PUEDE AYUDAR A MI HIJO SE VOY AGRADECER CON TODO MI CORAZON.
MUCHAS GRACIAS POR TOMARSE EL TIEMPO PARA LEER ESTE EMAIL.
Dear Cecilia Bogran,
I hope you remember me, I am the mother of the boy who needs your help to see if someone is willing to donate a telescope to my son. It doesn’t matter what condition it is in, whether it is old or broken, it doesn’t matter.
I want to tell you about my son, his name is Victor. At 12 months of age when he started talking he started saying one phrase; “Mami, I want to go to the sky.”
And that is the way it started with me reading him books about planets, meteors and the moon and how all of these objects travel around the sun.
At first I thought that these were ideas that he had in his head that would change over time, but six years have past and I continue hearing the same thing including this past Christmas, when he told me, “Mami, I don’t want toys for Christmas, I want a telescope.
We don’t have the money to by a telescope. I work really hard to put three meals on the table every day. Like a mother, I am doing everything possible to motivate my son to do his best in school everyday by putting his maximum effort into his school-work. Like a mother I am also trying to help my children understand not to set limits and I try my best to provide them with the tools needed for success. To me education is very important, because it is the only treasure that cannot be take away from you. The United States is still the only place where dreams can still come true.
Please, Please, Please, if you can help my son, I will be whole heartedly grateful to you.
Thank You for taking the time to read my email.
So that’s how it started; We shared it with some of my engineering friends and after they read the letter, it touched their hearts. They remembered being Victors age and not having anyone that they could reach out to to make their dreams come true. They had no-one who could appreciate what Victor was feeling. I said, "it may not make a big difference, but we can make a difference with this little kid." We marshaled our resources and decided to buy Victor a telescope. So we raised the money and bought the telescope and let Cecilia Bogran know that we had a brand new telescope for Victor. So today, Christmas day, we went to his house and gave it to him. He was completely surprised and went and hugged his telescope. This story does not end with the telescope, some engineers have volunteered to follow up with him and continue to motivate him to assure his success in school and in his future.
We are fortunate enough to have so many of you that are willing to step up and help, when we find ourselves not being able to take on a challenge on our own, and even when we are able to, you still help out. For all of the support you provide year in and year out, my students and I are consistently reminded that anything is possible.
My students and I are truly grateful that all of you play such a significant part our success.
We see you as our heroes.
As Bernard Malamud said, “Without heroes, we are all plain people and don’t know how far we can go.”
The story airs this evening on Channel 34 at 6:00pm
John P. Santos