Sharith could only explain her struggles in one way: “I am stupid.”
She spoke those words daily. She said them when she struggled to read the pages that her younger classmates breezed through. She said them when she failed yet another test. She said them when her peers laughed at her as she stumbled through a math problem on the board.
At 7 years old, Sharith dreaded going to school. She was repeating the first grade but wasn’t making progress. Her mother, Yeimi, was anxious, and as the days went by, she was losing hope that her daughter would pass this second try at first grade.
“I began to wonder if perhaps it would be best if Sharith no longer went to school,” says Yeimi. “I thought she wasn’t trying hard enough.”
But Sharith’s tutor at her Compassion center began to wonder if Sharith’s struggles had anything to do with how hard she was trying. Her tutor alerted the Center Director, Deniluz, who had also noticed how sad Sharith appeared and how she often isolated herself from the other children at the center.
When Deniluz visited Sharith’s home, she was met with a frustrated mother and a sad little girl who felt like a failure.