Written by Jennyfer Gonzalez, Journalist
Broadcast journalist Germany Kent said, “Embrace who you are and your divine purpose. Identify the barriers in your life and develop discipline, courage, and the strength to permanently move beyond them and keep moving forward.”
At one point or another, the temptation to give up has crossed the mind of everyone—even those deemed worthy by society’s standards. Regardless of the job, goal, or task, some people get to the point when there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel. And, even getting to the finish line seems all but impossible.
One such example of how persistence and resilience can become keys to a rewarding career and future is the story of one kama’aina (Hawaiian local) named Ms. Perseverance, who stands firm in her belief that cultural differences, language barriers, and intellectual or mental disabilities should never hinder an individual’s potential.
Her personal experiences—being abused mentally and sexually and being hit by a car accidentally and almost dying, stacked against her to be successful. The accident sent her into a coma which thankfully didn’t last for over two weeks. Despite coming out of a vegetative state, she had facial paralysis that gave her a unique appearance. Luckily, her brain was still intact.
Recovering was not an easy endeavour, especially when no one else believed there was a light at the end of the tunnel, yet Ms. Perseverance held fast that there was. After her recovery, she used her working credentials and taught English to children in China.
Teaching and working with children has always been her passion, even before the accident. Though she admits that learning a different language, English for that matter, can be a gruelling task for people, her presence and strategies kept the children engaged and motivated. As students successfully bonded with Ms. Perseverance’s presence and teaching methods, the English language became more sustainable. It paved the way for her to earn the title and be known as The Best teacher in Shandong District, China. She was the teacher with the highest number of classes for students aged 4 – 18. In fact, to this day, she is still in contact with some of her students as they hope for her return to China.
Though the preparations and discipline in her lessons were non-stop and around the clock, seeing her students persist and thrive with their new knowledge of English, was well worth all the effort.
Three years into teaching abroad, she was forced to leave because of the global pandemic. Back in the U.S., Ms. Perseverance took the route to work with a brilliant girl with autism. Teaching communication was then met at a different and more rewarding level.
With a lot of hard work and repetition, Ms. Perseverance is able to have this brilliant girl communicate by speaking words on the girl’s own terms. Ms. Perseverance takes communication and social justice challenges with adversity beyond its limits, turning her expertise into a high-demand service.
All the depressing, dismal moments Ms. Perseverance has been through in her life only made her working ethics with children that much stronger. If she can do it, anyone can.