The dream of every parent is that each child will grow up normal, have a proper education, and be indomitable. Of course, he/she should contribute his/her quota to the development of the society. From the perspective of the child, his/her dream will be to grow up and become something in life. Suffice it to say, many times the story is not as smooth sailing as either of them had wished.
Raquel lost her father when she was a teenager. By the time she turned 16, her life had taken a turn for the worse. “It was a terrible experience…” she recounts, with her family in dire straits. The situation was so bad that she ended up living in a brothel with prostitutes for a period of time. She often found herself homeless. Raquel remembers countless times when she was almost raped in the streets. She was living in such a the dangerous environment.
When her mother died a few years later, things got even worse. She says of her mother’s death, “… it was like adding more pain to what was already there.” The security she had known as a child was no more as the home was broken up with her younger brothers taken in by relatives. Raquel was really devasted when she heard the news that her siblings were often neglected and left unkempt.
The Turning Point
However, this lady determined to change the status quo; she had an indomitable resilient spirit! With support from her local church members, she was able to bring her siblings back together and send them to school. She was also able to obtain a university degree!
Today, Raquel Jacobs is an enterprising young lady who surmounted many personal tragedies in her life. Now, she uses those experiences to empower others. Beyond the Classroom is the brainchild of Raquel. It is an NGO that focuses on improving education for the less privileged students in the public school system.
Today, Raquel inspires other young people facing different challenges in life, through her various initiatives, Club 31 Woman, iRaquel and the Purple Squirrel Company. She’s teaching them the skills and knowledge they need to surmount the adversity and limitations in their own lives. She believes in the power of God to save and transform and she says, “He might not calm the storm but He will calm his child”.
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