After our final clinic day in Belize we had the opportunity to go to Corozal and see the ocean and this nice park that was right by it. I saw the backside of the wall with the mural of the ocean while we were driving in and thought it was beautiful and wanted to see it up close when we got out of the bus. What I didn’t know was that on the other side of the wall was a mural that had been made by dozens of kids at summer camp in 2015. On it the kids put what they wanted to be when they grew up and this included things like artist, doctor, banker, engineer, star, adventurer, and even customs officer. I thought it was so pure and inspiring because I know, especially in the rural areas, a lot of people didn’t have the opportunities to get further than standard 6 (equivalent to 8th grade in America), and so it was incredible to see that so many children aspired to do big things later in life. It especially made me happy that the little girls whose names were on the wall wanted to be doctors or even engineers as well because, especially in Belize, there seems to be an underrepresentation of women in fields like medicine or business. Additionally, I learned during this trip that there is a deficit of health professionals in Belize so it gave me a lot of hope when I saw multiple children write that they wanted to be doctors. I believe that having this wall up will help inspire other children who visit the park and let them know that they too can dream big and aspire to do incredible things when they get older.
One thing about the wall was that it is placed in a fairly urban area so a lot of the people who visit it may be more well off than those in the rural areas. I think having a program in schools, especially rural schools, that teach kids about career possibilities and the importance of education would really help motivate kids to continue with their education after standard 6. Belize could benefit greatly from having a well educated and motivated future generation of children in its population. In America I know that we are taught from a young age that we should go to college and get a good job that will make some sort of impact on society. My parents especially told me that I could do anything I wanted if I put the effort in. This changed my perspective on education because I realized that even though school is hard and time consuming, it will be worth it when I am doing what I love later in life. Making kids know from a young age that anything can be possible with hard work and dedication will help inspire kids to do great things with their futures.