My Second Family by Andrea Tamat

Have you heard of your second family or your other home? I bet yes! Let me start telling you a little about my second family and my second home which even today remains and continues to set a mark on me, I’m Andrea and I am now 21 years old, I am part of a family of 4 (MOM, sister, and brother). It is about eight and a half years I met Association CasaSito and until today; they are still giving me advice and support.

For me it is very important to realize that CasaSito is not only dedicated to financially support to young people but more importantly, they take care of all who are of the family of CasaSito, empowering them, supporting them psychologically, training them to be the agent of change.

The Andrea today, who is writing these lines, is not the same as 8 years ago. If you are reading this, let me tell you that when I met Association CasaSito, I was only 12 years old; I was very shy, quiet, doubtful of myself, very embarrassed of everything I did. My way of thinking and seeing things was completely different, but without lying to them, I have evolved so much that I’m sure that they can give faith and legality of how I’ve grown as a person.

I remember the first times that I attended workshops that CasaSito organized. When I arrived I felt very embarrassed because I knew no one, I was so shy that I did not care to talk to the other people. However, little by little, in each workshop that I attended, I started losing my fear of working with others and most importantly during this time, were the informational workshops that I received; thanks to all that information I got, I could know a little beyond what I could receive at home, at school or with friends.

Believe me that all those workshops as e.g. topics of sexuality, healthy eating, how to organize my time, and I remember that there was an issue where we were taught how to organize finances and use sources that helped me to grow as a person, and a student and professionally.

I would like to share a few of my favorite experiences such as are the theatre of the oppressed and the Debate club, definitely were two great tools which even today are still helping me. The strength that I learned in both activities was where I learned to take away my fear of public speaking, fear of say, what I feel and what I think; but more than that, they also taught me to work as a team, to seek solutions to problems, to not give up and fight for what we want. Things that are difficult to find in other places and that there are few people who open the doors to you. In addition, another of my favorite experiences was working in CasaSito as a Work-Study scholar, I can say that it was my first job after I graduate. During the 8 months that I was working with the CasaSito team, for me, it was as a school where I learned the necessary things for work and as a good guide in my professional life.

To work in CasaSito for me was very helpful since I was also studying the first year of College. The schedule of work had allowed me to do both and at the end of the year 2016, an opportunity presented to work in another company, which is about the career that I was studying (Bachelor’s degree in hotel management, tourism, and gastronomy). From that company I could learn and prepare. Economic stability also improved for me, which allowed me to help my mom more.

After being a scholar for the last 8 years I made a decision at the beginning of 2018, it was then I decided to retire of the scholarship program. It did not simply because I wanted to or because I do not need the financial support which I received. For me, it would have been very selfish to continue in the program knowing that I had an economic stability that allowed me to be able to cover the college expenses, help my family. I know that probably there is another person with much more need of the scholarship. It is a privilege to receive a scholarship but taking into account the situation in which I am now it is more than fair to make this decision. For me, it was taking a step forward because I know that I am meeting my goals.

For me, it is very important that all the donors that support CasaSito know that their grain of sand helps. I feel that as scholars, former fellows and those who take part in this family are responsible for making our goals come true.

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