“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela.
It is never too late too learn, it is never too late to start. Every dream will find its path with strong determination and effort. As experienced by Mrs. Yulie, she never expect to have a college degree; a degree which she had been dreaming of since she was a child.
The mother of 3 told us her story, the goal to get a college degree was almost gone when she graduated junior high school. At that time, her parents were no longer able to pay for her school fees But, Mrs. Yuli did not give up. She boldly walked up to the headmaster and told him that she wanted more education. Her request was granted. The headmaster admitted Mrs. Yuli to be one of the candidates for a scholarship.
All of Mrs. Yuli’s efforts were not fruitless. She got a good score and also the scholarship. So, instead of paying for her tuition, she was fully supported and she was even given a small stipend of Rp 60,000 ($4.50) from the school every week. With that money, she was able to help her parent.
After she graduated from senior high school, her younger sister wanted to get married. As tradition dictates, Mrs Yuli was entitled for a dowry. She was already planning to use this dowry to get a bachelor degree. Unfortunately, her parents did not agree to this arrangement and asked Mrs. Yuli to get married quickly so that her younger sister could get married too.
In the end, Mrs Yuli was acquainted with a man and was married shortly after. As a married woman, that dream of getting into a university was shattered.
All of Mrs. Yuli’s skills in making cakes and donuts was given by her husband. Back then, Mrs. Yuli would get orders from various schools and small shops. There were around 18 small shops which sold donuts for Mrs. Yuli. Every small shop stored 30 donuts, and rarely there was any donut left at the end of the day. In a day, Mrs. Yuli could gain a net income of Rp. 300,000.
Mrs. Yuli’s first marriage only lasted for 3 years. Her husband died due to illness and she was left alone with a 2 year old child. She returned back to Bogor and chose to open the same business to get more income.
Because she was not busy, Mrs. Yuli became quite active at PAUD (Early childhood Care and Education) at her kid’s school. She got pretty close to the teachers and was appointed as a representative of the parents. One day a PAUD manager asked her is she wanted to continue her education to undergraduate. An old dream that had sunk, now re-emerged to the surface.
With strong determination and will, Mrs. Yuli registered at STIT Tarbiyatun Nisa by covering the initial cost in the amount of Rp. 75,000 and also monthly fee Rp. 150,000. It was not easy to go to class while taking care of her second husband and 3 children. But, she did it diligently. She never once asked for tuition fees from her husband. She paid for all the tuition fees from the proceeds of her business.
Mrs. Yuli still kept her desire to go to university because she believed that it was one of the things that could help her to have a better future. Now, She is already on her 6th year of becoming a teacher at PAUD. In addition, she also teaches at Madrassa Ibtidaiyah.
Her hope is to continue her education to a higher level because she believed that once a dream is achieved, it’s time to dream higher.