I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but maybe a Children’s Lawyer or an Engineer because I like doing hard things…
— MARIA, 15


Hi! My name is Maria; I’m 15 years old and live at an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. 

I got to my first orphanage when I was very little, many years ago, with my older and younger brothers. There I was one of many other younger and older kids, but at least I was there to take care of my little brother… he has problems. 

Occasionally, it was fun being around other kids, but we also had to share everything with the little kids. I liked it, but not always. I had to sleep in the girls’ dorm and my brothers in the boys’ dorm, but we were always there for each other.

I remember when Ana from Create Purpose came to the orphanage. I didn’t know her then, but I remember the day when I started going to the Technology class, and they brought laptops. They were so fast compared to the ones we did our homework on! My big brother was 10, and I was 9, but we were in the same class because we would mess up a lot when typing on the keyboard. We were starting to learn about PowerPoint and very hard-coding games, but I didn’t understand much because I had difficulty paying attention to the teacher. I was always the last one to finish the work, or sometimes I wouldn’t even finish at all.

Two years ago, we were all moved to different orphanages. My little brother Emmanuel stayed at the orphanage because of his problems, my big brother Brandon went to an all-boys one, and I was sent to an all-girls one. Luckily, I was with two other girls from the first orphanage, but it was still very hard not to miss my brothers and everyone else, even Gerardo, my technology teacher and our garden classes. 

Now that I look back, I know I have a lot to learn, but I am happy because I am learning many things. I don’t know when I started to understand the computer classes, but they’re not so hard anymore. We’re learning to code with symbols and numbers, and it’s easier for me. I can finish my classwork now because the teacher helps us and is superb at explaining things. I also like the classes because they always tell me I’m doing a good job.

At the orphanage, I have a bedroom with my friends and have things to do every day. I think it’s ok because I will grow up and have to be someone in life. I am happy because I am learning a lot of things and I go to a very good school, but even though I’m happy, I miss my brothers at the other orphanages. 

I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but maybe a Children’s Lawyer or an Engineer because I like doing hard things, and they say you can earn good money. I also like math a little because once you learn it, you can figure things out. 

I want to have a house and travel everywhere. I don’t know if I want to get married and have children. I still don’t know, but for now, I would like to help other children to learn to code. I don’t know if I can teach very little ones because I am not so patient, but the other girls at the orphanage say they like it when I explain it to them, and they say they understand me.