Thursday Good News
We’ve all had a special teacher – one who went above and beyond, one without whom we would have struggled or languished, one who took the time to help. But how many of us have gone back to say “thank you?” One student, after forty years, now has. When Ana Reyes arrived in Louisville, KY she didn’t speak English and began falling behind in her classes.
“I remember feeling lost,” said Reyes, 46, who was born in Uruguay and shortly after moved to Spain. She and her family packed up their lives and flew to Louisville in 1979 for her father’s job as a civil engineer.
She was adrift until she got an unexpected offer: Reyes’s first-grade teacher would arrive at school an hour early every morning for a one-on-one lesson to teach her English.
“That was life-changing,” said Reyes. “To this day, I don’t know how far behind I would have been if no one had done that.”
Reyes is now a lawyer (Harvard Law) and works in DC, much of it pro bono. She wanted to connect with this teacher but couldn’t remember her name. It was the Internet to the rescue and amazingly quickly, Reyes had a name and more amazingly, her teacher remembered her and the tutorials.
“I think it made a big difference in my life in that one of the first interactions I had was with someone who was volunteering and giving their time and absorbing that that is how one should behave,” Reyes said. “It has made a big impact on how I try to help others and how I try to think about the world. It wasn’t just about teaching me English, it was teaching that we should all help each other and do what we can for each other. That was an important lesson, too.”