While most classes are on summer holiday we have been busy selecting this year’s intake of university scholarship students. The students with the top grades from the local schools are invited to the exam, the main component of which is an essay, blind-marked by three examiners. Every year some of those who win a scholarship are known to us, normally through English classes. But every year we also discover new, talented people we have never met before. One of those this year was Marta, pictured. She is 31 and was unable to finish secondary school because when she was 16 her mother left the family and she, as the eldest of eight siblings, was left to play the role of mother. She now has four children of her own and completed her secondary education at the night school. She is from deep in the countryside but moved to Santa Maria for her children’s sake. Her husband is an odd-job man and she has a part-time cleaning job.
She has decided that she wants to train to be a teacher, after having practised with her own children during lockdown and having such a wealth of experience with young children, first her siblings and then her children. Her essay was superbly original and impressed all the examiners. We are delighted to be able to help her continue her education.