Dignity filled destiny

SHS teacher hopes to be successful and leave an impact on others

Coming to a new country at a young age can pose to be a challenge, but for some, that challenge can result in a successful and fulfilling life.

Science teacher Elmer Sanders has led a successful life after coming from Colombia to the U.S. through hard work and devoting his time and energy to those around him.

Sanders was born in Bogota, Colombia and when he was two, he moved to the Amazonian Jungle where he lived until he was 10. He then returned to Bogota to finish some schooling before immigrating to the U.S.

“It was very important to my parents that I had an American education,” Sanders said.

In his final year of schooling in Colombia, Sanders completely failed his classes. After coming to the U.S., though, Sanders found that he actually started to enjoy learning and began to value his education.

“In the new environment, I some way or another started to enjoy school, and by the time I graduated, I was class valedictorian,” Sanders said.

Through his hard work and dedication, Sanders was able to be successful, but he also found that there is more to being successful than just education.

“One measurement of success is whether or not someone lives a life of dignity,” Sanders said.

Sanders enjoys hearing others talk about all the good a person has achieved in their lifetime and how much of an impact they had on the others around him. The impact that Sanders hopes to leave on his community, family and students motivates him every single day to be the best that he can be.

Sanders attempts to achieve his goal of leaving an impact on his community, family and students by being heavily involved in many activities. Sanders is a co-chair of National Honor Society alongside math teacher Christina Ferguson. He is also a member of Key Club, which is sponsored by the Kiwanis of Perry Township. Along with his community endeavours, Sanders donates 10 percent of his earnings to both his church and humanitarian aid. Through all of these activities, Sanders hopes to continue striving towards being successful in life, because he feels that he has not made it to success just yet.

“I don’t know if what I have here can be labeled success by anyone,” Sanders said. “For me, I don’t necessarily put (everything I do) into the category of success, but I’m happy in life, and I think that can be considered success also.”