Little Gus Has Big Dreams
Of all the traits Gustavo “Little Gus” S. shares with his family, perhaps the most important one is his ambition and ability to dream big.
His parents, Marisol and Gustavo left Mexico 12 years ago with dreams of making a family and a better life for their children in the United States. Even though neither had completed school in their native country and they spoke little English, they were willing to work hard to achieve their dreams in America.
Both Gus and his little brother, Jose, were born in the U.S and his parents – like any loving, caring family – wanted the best for their children in their new country. So, when Gus entered school and began to have difficulties, Gustavo and Marisol were fearful that they could not help their son achieve academically due to differences in the education system and their personal limitations with the English language.
Fortunately, Communities of Schools in Greenville was there to help. As a tiny first grade student and struggling with literacy, Gus enrolled in the CIS afterschool program at Monaview Elementary School, as well as its six-week summer enrichment program.
As he participated in the CISG afterschool program, Gus – as well as his parents – grew more confident in his abilities to succeed in school and in life. For the past five years with CIS, Gus has received the homework assistance that his parents could not easily provide due to language barriers. He also interacts daily with caring adults who read with him, encourage him to speak openly about his dreams, and who cultivate a love of reading, writing and public speaking.
Today, Gus is an honor roll student at Monaview. He often shares stories of his Mexican heritage and is very proud of what his parents did to provide a better life for him. Gus is also considered to be an expert on South Carolina history, and after a special afterschool visit to Furman University, he set a goal of attending college one day.
Gus’s dreams, however, don’t stop there. Ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, and he’s not shy to proclaim: “The first Mexican-American President of the United States.”