Mrs. Patty has lived in Compton since she was a child, and lives there now with her husband and five children, their ages ranging from kindergarten to 11th grade. Three of her kids go to St. Lawrence Elementary School in Watts, which is where she found out about Operation Progress. For a while, she thought she couldn’t apply to the program because she lived in Compton, but one day, with a little push from one of David’s teacher, Mrs. Patty walked into the OP office to find out they were able to.
She now has 2 Scholars in OP. David is in the 5th grade, 11 years old, and has been in OP for 3 years. It’s Isaac’s first year here and he’s in the 3rd grade. You can easily detect how proud she is when she talks about their growth within the OP program. She giggles when speaking about the time David took a nutrition class here and came home demanding everybody read the labels on everything they eat. Or when he went to Gentle Barn, an animal sanctuary, and came back with a desire to go vegan and be the family chicken’s primary caretaker.
Most importantly, Mrs. Patty says, David is more open-minded and empathetic now. Even if he doesn’t particularly like somebody, he realizes he has to listen. If mom is a little late to pick him up after an OP class, before he would get upset, but now he says “Mom, I understand you have things to do and I promise not to be upset if you’re not here on time.”
On top of taking care of her family and helping her siblings out, Mrs. Patty finds the time to help OP. She serves as part of the Parent Guild where she helps organize important events such as our new parent mixer or our holiday party. She’s on multiple committees and is always here to help.
Though only two of her children are in OP, Mrs. Patty feels the whole family is apart of it. It touches all of them in special ways. David’s mentor takes Bulmaro, Mrs. Patty’s son in 7th grade, out for pizza along with David. Natalia, who’s in kindergarten, comes with her mom to meetings at OP and can’t wait to apply.
Mrs. Patty wonders, “How hasn’t it affected us? What hasn’t it done?” She is grateful for OP.
“For me, Operation Progress is like winning the education lottery. What else can you ask for? This is something no one can take away. Money you can lose and it can go away. But faith and education, nobody can take that away from you.”
Mrs. Patty didn’t think her life would be what it is today. When she was younger she was told by doctors that she wouldn’t be able to have babies. Now, her life revolves around them. “I’m so blessed I’ve had 5 kids. 5 kids!” she says emphatically, laughing. “They have a mission here– what that is I’m not sure– but I’m trying to give them the best of me. Sometimes it’s hard because I lose myself in it.”
“You just asked me who I was. I’m a mom. I’m a chef. I’m a therapist. I’m a seamstress. It’s a lot. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
You’re amazing, Mrs. Patty! Thank you for all that you do for OP!