DESCRIPTION OF THE SUCCESS STORY
My name is Kimlet. I am from Kenya. My whole family arrived in Greece almost 6 years ago. I am the oldest of three sons. My father works from time to time, whenever there is work. My mother tried to find something to work, but it was too difficult to get a permanent job. My father decided to send me to school, since he wanted me to be part of the Greek community. We have a “green card” to work and live in Greece.
From the first days in school, my teacher wanted to help me in everyway. I am black, and he said that it was part of his daily job to take care of me. Fortunately, I did not have any problems with the rest of the classmates, neither in school. I am quite tall, 1,90 cm tall! And I think this is part of my luck.
My family had (and still has) economical problems. Since I had to stop working, our income has been significantly reduced. We were facing problems with having the proper food for everybody. My mother and father have been trying the best to find our daily food. I knew that my father was trying to work overtime in order to get some proper income.
Since the food was not enough for everybody, I started to lie to my mother from time to time, that someone gave us a sandwich or a cheese pie in school, so I did not have the need for a lunch. In such a way, there was more food for my brothers.
I tried my best in school. Since it was my father’s will, I wanted to keep on track with the rest. This was not always so easy. There were times where I was feeling dizzy since I did not have a meal for a day or two.
During the breaks, in order not to sit close to the rest of the classroom, I used to take the ball and play basketball in the school yard. One of the teachers. Mr X, noticed that I was really good with that. He spoke to the headmaster and then to my teacher. Although I did not have time to study, I was trying my best to be in track with the rest of the class. But, from time to time, I used to skip school, so that I can make a small job, earn a few euros and spend it for some food. I did not give money to my family, because I did not want them to discover that I missed even a day in school.
Eventually my progress seemed not to be good enough. I was missing classes and in the ones that I was there, I was too hungry to follow. Mr X noticed that also my athletic performance was reduced. One day he followed me and he discovered that I was trying to get some extra money, using legal ways to do that. He talked to me and I decided to tell the whole true story.
The other day, he spoke to my teacher and to the headmaster. The school decided to give me a sports scholarship. My obligation was not to miss any day from school for the rest of semester and a basketball practice. They did not tell anything to my family. At the end of semester, my grades were significantly improved (I was not hungry) and I was an MVP in most of the games. My popularity was increased and my daily school life was just a pleasure.
Sports and other outer-school activities provide flexibility for students. Students coming from different countries might have skills that would give them a benefit in order to be part of the class. Normally, the boy in the story would drop school. His physical power and his mentality were reduced from time to time and it was a matter of time that he would have to drop out from the rest of the classroom.
It is a success story since it gives an evidence of the different options an immigrant can have in order to stay in school. Despite his economical problems, the school gave him an option that would benefit in order to stay in school. The student really felt that the school needed him and gave him a scholarship that had to work hard in order not to lose it.