Angeliki Tsoli

Angeliki laughs when she remembers the moment she applied to be a volunteer at the 2004 Olympics and Paralympics. She had only finished elementary school, so she thought she had nothing to offer. She now has so much self-confidence that she wants to go on to senior high school. How did your daughters react when they heard you were going to school? It didn’t seem strange to them because for years I have been saying: «I’m waiting for you to finish elementary school so I can go to school too.» I had prepared my kids. «Mama, are you doing your homework?» they now say to me. Do you approve of the effort to streamline junior high school into two years for adults? Yes, and I believe that whoever wants to learn, will, despite the things you hear that the Second Chance School is lax and you don’t learn anything. That’s not true. Have you heard any complaints from others? There are people who say they didn’t learn anything this year. But we actually learned a great deal. You seem very proud of coming here. Have you heard accolades from others? The greatest «bravo» came from my kids. Last year, my first in the school, they had not gotten used to me being gone from home so many hours. Despite this, they would tell me: «Mama, you must go on, don’t drop out.» Once, when I was tired and I told them to be quiet so I could study, they understood and helped out. And my husband… he helped a great deal too, as did my mother. Was it really that easy to convince your husband? He helped a great deal psychologically. In the beginning he told me it was hard and he didn’t know if I would make it. This year he sees that I am doing very well and he came, saw the school, met the teachers and got very enthused. Did you drop out of school as a kid because of family responsibilities? I went to junior high for a year but the situation back then – I’m talking about 1978, 1979 – was very difficult for families with a lot of children. I had five siblings, I was the oldest and our financial situation was not good. Tell me a little bit about your studies. I can’t wait for 4.30 p.m. so I can go to school. I become a different person. I feel that I forget everything; whatever problems I have at home disappear.

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