Have you ever taken one of those computer-generated career aptitude tests? I took one in the ninth grade and it said I was best suited to a career as a street performer. I tried to picture my parents proudly telling their friends about my fabulous life as a mime and couldn’t muster an image I believed in; I took it again and the test changed its mind – I’d be a much better embalmer.
These days, I’m neither a mime nor a mortician – I spend my days writing web copy and my nights writing blog posts, cobbling together pieces of a narrative I dream will someday be marketable enough to earn me a spot on some bookshelf, somewhere.
World Vision Canada recently invited me to tag along as a writer on a trip to El Salvador where I had the opportunity to learn about child labour from kids whose dreams are big and important, who, with the right amount of support and opportunity and luck will follow those dreams to a better, happier life for themselves and their families.
One of the best ways to learn about a kid is to ask him what he wants to be when he grows up. Every child has thought about his or her future and imagined how it will play out.
Whether they’re kids in El Salvador or kids here in Canada, every child has hope.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Aiden, age 10, Canada - “I’d like to be a concrete cutter and work with my Dad.” (Image credit: Keith Galick)
Ana, age 15, El Salvador - “I want to be a policewoman. I like the uniform.” (Image credit: Paul Bettings)
Kevin, Oscar, Alfred, and Ericson, ages 11 and 13 - “We play a lot of football. We want to be professionals, like Chico (plays for the El Salvadoran national team).”
Bryan, age 15 and Byron, age 18, El Salvador - Bryan: “I’d like to work in hospitality.” Byron: “I want to go to school and study computer science or business administration.” (Image credit: Paul Bettings)
Cole, age 8, Canada - “I want to be a bunch of things, like being an engineer, a painter who travels the world, and in the Olympics for gymnastics.” (Image credit: Keith Galick)
Hudson, age 9, Canada - “A lot of kids say they want to be a fireman, but I just don’t know about that. I like the idea of being Iron Man.”
Hunter, age 2, Canada - He didn’t really understand the question and simply shouted “TICKERS, MAMA.”
Jose Miguel, age 20, El Salvador - “I’m going to university; I want to be a nurse. My brothers help pay for my tuition; it’s very expensive, but they know it’s worthwhile.” (Image credit: Paul Bettings)
Kevin, age 13, sitting with his dog Canella, in El Salvador - “I want to be a policeman.”
Natalie, age 8, El Salvador - “I don’t know, but I want to live in a two-storey house.”
Oswaldo, age 15, El Salvador - “I want to be a lawyer so I can defend and help people.” (Image credit: Paul Bettings)
Sawyer, age 5, Canada - “I want to be a Dad. Also I want to work with my Dad.” (Image credit: Keith Galick)
If you have a dream to share, upload it now to the World Vision Dream Share Wall. You can also tweet your dream using the #DreamShare hashtag or write your own blog post on any dream topic of your choice!
Dream Share is an initiative of World Vision, a global relief, development and advocacy organization that believes every child should have the ability to dream – and dream big!