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Guest speaker for Hispanic Heritage Month emphasizes importance of communication between parents, children

Sept. 19, 2019

Motivational speaker Ernesto Mejía inspired School District U-46 students and parents Wednesday night with his presentation at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin. The District’s English Language Learners Department invited Mejía to the District as part of Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations. 

Mejía emphasized the importance of strong communication between parents and their children. He told parents it’s OK to ask their children for advice and build their goals together. Mejía

“Ask your children how you can become a better mom or a better dad,” said Mejía. “Ask them how you can help them achieve their goals in school and in life.”

Another tip he gave to parents to help their child improve academically was to have screen-free dinner times. He stressed the importance of face-to-face interaction between parent and child. “When your child is sitting at the dinner table with their phone, they aren’t even enjoying their meal, they are too busy texting and going through social media,” said Mejía. “Without screens, children are more open to talking about their day. Not having their phone with them changes the way they communicate. Not only does it change the way they communicate, but it also is proven to help their grades improve.”

Mejia referred to a study that found 64 percent of adolescents who mainly earn A’s and B’s in school report that they have dinner with their family.

Mejia also shared how he overcame obstacles in his own life.  At 16, Mejía was temporarily paralyzed from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare disease in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. Despite his hardships, he went on to become a successful college administrator. He credits his accomplishments to having an inner drive to take advantage of  the abundance of opportunities presented through education. 

At the end of Mejia’s presentation, activity booklets were distributed in both Spanish and English. The booklets have activities for parents and children to complete together.

Thank you to Ernesto Mejía, Gail Borden Public Library, and all those who attended as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.