Back to school at 40 something

Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.  The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

 Why smart girls don’t go to college

Yesterday, I read an article posted on Facebook by The Good Woman Project published by Psychology Today titled The Trouble with Bright GirlsThe article helped me shed some light on my delayed entry in to college.  Some where along the way I learned something about myself that simply wasn’t true; I believed I wasn’t smart.  Believing a lie has as much power as knowing the truth.

Dedicated to learn

Then, I met some incredible women in Bangladesh who work hard to achieve their God-given potential.  They are learning that they have worth and can make a valuable contribution to their community.  Bangladeshi women have a nearly 50 percent lower adult literacy rate than Bangladeshi men.  They could choose to believe that they aren’t worth teaching, but Food for the Hungry has taught them that they are worth it.

These women are dedicated to learn.  With help from Food for the Hungry, they form groups of 12 – 16 for literacy training and savings.  They meet for nine months; two hours a day, six days a week.  It takes a lot of determination for them to give this time to their own self improvement.  They tend to their children, prepare meals, carry water from the well, and then, at the end of a labor intensive day, learn to read.

With the help of Food for the Hungry, women feel empowered and their level of dignity is raised as they learn to read and write.  Life before literacy is a struggle; without reading how does one sign her name, take her children to the doctor’s office, or even shop for groceries?

What about you?

For me personally, the next step was to return to college.  Inspired by the dedication I saw in these women, I found the courage (and the “smarts”) to get my degree.  One year down, and three to go!

How about you: What do you believe about yourself?  What holds you back?  Isn’t it time to believe the truth?  Isn’t it time you needed to hear what God has to say about you; you are a bright child of God and with him all things are possible!  What are you waiting for? Go for it!

About Heidi Heinrich

Heidi Heinrich, church relationship manager for Food for the Hungry's community-to-community (C2C) program, got her start with Food for the Hungry as a volunteer. She began promoting child sponsorship after being incredibly moved to "just do something" about the poverty she had seen while serving internationally on a team. A mother of two adult children who are pursuing their life's work in serving the poor, Heidi attributes their passion to the impression made through child sponsorship. "It has been a journey." she says, "It all began by sponsoring a child in Bangladesh that led to serving on a team. I am very grateful for the experiences God has given me through sponsorship." She also enjoys art and music, and she is finishing her degree in Human Development through Hope International University.

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