This is the third in a series about Faire Collection scholarship students. You can also read the previous stories of Tamia and Tatiana.
Today I would like to tell you about Elvis, who is an assistant artisan in Shaman’s Hat-Making workshop. In talking to all our scholarship students, i am always amazed by the incredible barriers they overcome in their education. I think Elvis exemplifies this more than anyone.
The first thing you should know about Elvis is that at age 18 he is working full time helping to support his family and while also attending high school on the weekends. In his own words, “The hardest part of studying for me is working full time all week and then attending classes. I get out of work at 5pm go to the gym or play soccer then I have to do my homework at night.”
Elvis has to work to help support his family, because as the oldest of four brothers, he comes from a single parent home. “I really admire my mom because she always worked to get us through things, make sure we were studying, fed us four kids. She was a single mom; my dad was an alcoholic, so she sacrificed a lot for us.” But through these challenges, he remains incredibly motivated to continue: “Sometimes I’ve thought about dropping out of school, but then I thought ‘this is my future’…this is how I can help out my mom and make her proud, sine she’s made so many sacrifices for me.”
ncredibly, despite these challenges, Elvis has excelled academically. “My favorite memory from school is this year I received an award for being the second best student in the whole school because of my grades. So on Flag Day (Oct 31) there was a special ceremony and I was awarded an honorary sash.” Elvis’s goal is to graduate high school this year and then go onto university to study accounting.
Elvis is fighting the odds. According to the national census, 86% of adolescents in his community will not complete high school. This drop-out rate is largely due to the costs of school supplies and a need to help support their families financially. I’m proud of the fact that by supporting him with a scholarship for the past 4 years, Faire Collection has played a part in ensuring Elvis will be the odds.