In Appreciation of Julio Sauri

Reflecting on 6 months of teaching

~ By Elena

This past spring, my grandmother passed away. She spent over 30 years as an educator for gifted children in Southfield, MI. She loved being a teacher. Even after retirement she continued to use her previous profession as the main characteristic to describe who she was as a person. When she got sick, she would listen to me talk about the amazing opportunity that Volunquest would bring me, smiling every time I would retell her about applying. She passed before any final decisions had been made which at the time had broken my heart. All I wanted was for her to know that I was a teacher like her, but now reflecting on 6 months of teaching I know she is smiling somewhere knowing there is another teacher in our family.

And for that I have Julio Sauri to thank for bringing me that much closer to my grandmother. I began school in August still grieving over my loss, but with each class, seeing those smiles light up when I walked into the room, my grief changed to happiness. Julio helped me identify as a teacher which brought me so much closer to her, more than I had ever been before. I will always miss my grandmother, but being able to identify as a teacher has brought me so much joy.

This experience has been so much more life changing than I could ever have imagined. As difficult as it is to leave this beautiful place that has become my home, I know I am leaving with so much growth and knowledge. Volunquest has helped me gain confidence in myself, taught me that I can push myself to more than my best. Julio helped me grieve in a positive way, and show me how much of a difference I can make in a child’s life. And with that I will look back on these past 6 months remembering the love, compassion and kindness that Isla Mujeres brought me at a time in my life when I didn’t even know how much I needed it.