Seventeen years ago, Gabby Alfaro had just started kindergarten and was learning to read and spell.
Her father, who came from Mexico, was determined to learn English well enough to be able to help her with her homework, and started taking night classes to improve his language skills.
One of his class assignments was to write about why he was taking the class, and he wrote:
“I want to be able to help her do the homework and show her that the only way to make her dreams come true is through education.”
Now Gabby is on her way to becoming an educator as well. She graduated with masters in education and teaching from the University of California, has been working as a student teacher, and has been hired to teach in the San Bernadino school district.
Graduation weekend, her mother located this letter that her father had written 17 years ago in the garage, and they shared it with Gabby.
“My dad took night classes to learn English and wrote this as an assignment. 17 years later, I got my Masters. I did it, pa. Thank you.”
She posted it on Twitter and the note just went viral.
“It is amazing how fast some kids can learn the things we teach them. I have a daughter who just turn 6 years old, my wife and I used to read her books since she was 2 years old, now that she is in Kindergarden, her teacher said that it’s hard to believe how good she can read and spell.
“The teacher thinks that she reads as good as a third grade kid. My daughter enjoys reading, we try to buy her lots of books, sometimes we go to the library, where she can read as much as she wants, also we check out up to 20 books for her to read at home.
“That’s one of the reason why I decided to go back to school. I want to be able to help her do the homework and show her that the only way to make her dreams come true is through education.”
Gabby has four sister, and when her mom showed them the note, “we all bawled our eyes out,” she said.
She has kept the notebook of her father’s writing assignments, and decided to tweet the note he wrote as Father’s Day coincided with her graduation event.
It was her way of showing him that “his hard work and love paid off.”
“I’m sure he’ll be a little embarrassed,” Gabby said. “My dad is very quiet with his emotions, typical Mexican dad, which made finding his writing even more surprising.
“He’s always told my sisters and I how proud of us he is though. That’s his ‘I love you’.”