“Why can’t you just be a normal teacher?” is what people ask Dewi when she tells them what she is studying at the university.
Dewi has always wanted to be a teacher. It is a passion that has burned in her heart since she was very little. But she grew up in a poor family where simply surviving was a daily struggle — regular meals were a luxury; attending college was a fantasy. Ready to graduate from high school, Dewi received an unexpected blessing.
With the help of Compassion and her local child development center, Dewi had the opportunity to apply for the Leadership Development Program with the hope of attending the university to pursue her dream. Out of the three students selected to participate, only Dewi passed all of the required tests and interviews.
She now attends the public university in Solo, where she is in her third year studying to be a teacher! Dewi isn’t just learning to be an educator, however. She is majoring in special education so she can teach children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to read and write.
"Many people think I'm strange because of my choice of study,” says Dewi. “They want me to be just a 'normal' teacher. But I'm convinced that this is the right choice." "Before the Leadership Development Program, my experience at the project opened my eyes to new perspectives in my life," says Dewi. “I had the chance to visit a learning center for disabled children and my heart immediately went out to the children I met. It became clear to me then that I wanted to become one of the teachers there.”
Dewi has had her share of struggles in school. "As one of the only Christians in my class, I am often left uninformed about helpful resources and other important information. I feel like an outcast in my class because of my beliefs, which can be very discouraging. But my mom and LDP mentor help keep me grounded, which allows me to see the bigger picture.” "Life is not just for myself; it is for others."