Jerónimo Antonio Morales, 32 years old, is the father of three young girls who are 10, 8, and 3 years old. Due to economic circumstances, he had to abandon his studies after finishing elementary school; at this time, he began to work as a day laborer in order to help his parents to support the family.
Though he left school at a young age, Jerónimo always wanted to return to school, which is why, at 26 years old, he began attending a special education program that helps adults earn their high school degree. He says, “I never lost the desire to study. I always thought that I would look for the opportunity to study and work when I was able to. Finally, I was able to achieve this, and I received my high school degree at 30 years old.”
From our community of Mojón, Jinotega, Jerónimo is in his first year of university studying mathematics and is a Bridges scholarship student. He says, “The Bridges to Community scholarship program is allowing me to achieve my dream. I am determined to finish my major, and I will continue to work hard to finish and then get a good job to give my daughters and my wife a better life. Thank you so much to Bridges for your support.”
Jerónimo works in farming to support his family. He provides the labor, and a business partner funds the planting of cabbage and potatoes. To manage his time and make sure he is fulfilling his responsibilities as father, husband, farmer, and student, he wakes up very early in the morning to work at the farm. In the afternoon, Jerónimo returns to his home and spends time with his wife and children. When they head to bed, he studies for his classes and does his homework. He spends Saturdays in the city of Jinotega attending classes at university.
Though he admits it is tiring, Jerónimo is especially motivated to achieve his dream. He wants to be a teacher in the school in his community of Mojón and to be an example for his daughters. He says, “I want my daughters to know that they can achieve whatever goals they set forth to achieve. I want them to study and to see the importance of school. I want to be able to give them a different life.”
Jerónimo also likes to serve in his community. He has been a leader on the community committee for three years, helping to bring progress to Mojón.