ONTARIO SCHOOL DISTRICT

We're O Positive.

O Positive is more than a slogan for us.
It's our way of telling a story of the many
successes that are deserving of Ontario's pride.
Are you ready to be a part of our story?

I was born in Juchipila Zacatecas, Mexico.  This picture was taken only because my younger brother Froilan had died at 18 months and I was also sick with the same illness.  I was born to a mother (touching my shoulders) who only had a third grade education and a father who only went almost through second grade.  The girl in the picture is my cousin Marta. At the age of 12 and half way through sixth grade I was told that my education had come to an end. Although I wanted to continue my education, I knew that being the oldest of four left me with only one destiny; work along side my father hard laboring to help support my family. In 1981, my father said to me, "You are seventeen and old enough to go to the U.S. to work there and help us financially from there."  I welcomed the opportunity and left for the  states.  Upon arrival, the only work that awaited me was field labor and migratory seasonal work. I helped my family for eight and a half years as a migrant field worker at which time I had learned some English.  In the spring of 1991, I made the decision to get my G.E.D.  College was never planned.  Some incredible people took me under their wing and made me believe that at the age of 27 and with very limited English skills, I could go to college.  I did believe those kind people, went to college, and graduated with a Multidisciplinary Studies degree for elementary education and bilingual education from Eastern Oregon University in June of 1997 at the age of 33.  Anything can happen when people believe in you.  Anything can happen when fear is conquered and faith takes its course underlying limitless possibilities.

Atentamente,

Jose de Jesus Melendez

 

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