Fidel and a program that changed the lives of thousands of youth

Granma | 28 March, 2017

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Fidel in Celia Sánchez Plaza, in Manzanillo, Granma province. Photo: Juvenal Balán

MANZANILLO, Granma.–The evening of March 28, 2002, waiting in a plaza on the city’s waterfront, didn’t cause Sheila Pons Delgado the chill she felt as that tall man, dressed in olive green, approached her.

The impression left a usually talkative Sheila speechless, as Fidel peppered her with questions: “How do you feel? How do they treat you? tell me about your studies.

All she could manage to answer was: “Good, very good.”

She now explains the importance of the course to her, after leaving school and becoming a mother at an early age, Sheila said, “The life of a young woman without any training can easily become difficult. I was pregnant, depending on others, my desperation growing…

“The day I began the course, with other youth from different backgrounds and stories, who had left school and gone awry, I felt a door open in my life.

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“I put all my effort into it, as if, on that night I met Fidel during the inauguration of the Integrated Development Course, I had taken on a great commitment to him, to my family, to myself.

“I arrived at the school with my little boy, I didn’t miss a class. My renewed passion for studying took all of my time, to the point that I became a leader in the Federation of Secondary School Students … and from all podiums, I defended Fidel’s magnificent idea, even against some with prejudices who described it as a mistaken investment, ‘paying delinquents to study.’

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“That’s what some people said, and today there is no better response than the thousands of my classmates who became eminent doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers… I am especially proud to be part of this group.

“I, myself, was able to reach my dream, starting with that course. Later, when I was preparing to start medical school, a teacher friend told me there was one opening to study Health Psychology. From among a sea of candidates, I won the spot, and, yes, I am here today, with my dream come true, thanks to this brilliant idea of my Comandante en Jefe.”

SOURCE: http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2017-03-28/fidel-and-a-program-that-changed-the-lives-of-thousands-of-youth

[THIS IS PRESENTED HERE FOR NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE.]
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