Little girl and her father don’t let their dire circumstances stop them from pursuing their dreams.

Five-year-old Maria Rosa was smart as a whip, but she didn’t go to school. She couldn’t.

When her mother abandoned her and her father, Jose Gonzalo, the two found themselves forced to leave the Peruvian countryside and head for the city with its promise of better jobs. Maria Rosa had to leave everything she’d ever known, shortly after her mother left her.

Why a 5-Year-Old Girl Studied on the Streets

close up of the sun shining
Photo by Pixabay

Still, there was hope. The big city was a draw, and Jose dreamed of finding a good job there. He wanted to provide for his young daughter and get her a proper education. She was smart and loved to learn, both bright and determined.

But finding work wasn’t as easy as Jose had hoped. The only job the father could find was washing cars, a job he had to do every single day just to make ends meet. On his best days, he earned the equivalent of $7, barely enough to feed himself and his daughter.

There was no way he could afford to send her to school. Instead, the little girl had to accompany her father to work every day. 

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Still, there was hope. Outside the car wash, Maria Rosa dragged a table from the garbage and set herself up a makeshift desk along the sidewalk. Every day, she sat there and studied, reading books and writing in her notebook, a pink backpack at her sandalled feet. She still hoped that, one day, she would go to school.

But the Peruvian sun is merciless, and Maria Rosa found herself exposed to extreme heat and all the elements. It hardly made for an optimal place to study. The optimistic child and father didn’t give up, though. Jose grabbed a large cardboard box and flattened it to construct a shelter over his daughter’s head and the recycled table. There, Maria Rosa would study day in and day out as she waited for her father to be done with work.

How One Stranger Changed a Two Lives for the Better

One day, a passerby who noticed the young girl studying under a cardboard box decided to record the heartbreaking scene and post it to social media. The post immediately went viral. It wasn’t long before a charitable organization stepped in to help.

The Trujillo Charitable Society decided to give Maria Rosa a full scholarship to Hermanos Blanco College. They even paid for her uniforms, school supplies and books. The young girl, who dreams of being a doctor or a lawyer, could now go to school.

But the charity organization did not stop there. Conscious of the fact that it would be impossible for Maria Rosa to study at the college if her father couldn’t bring her there and pick her up, they arranged for Jose to get a job at the very school his daughter would be attending. Now, he works at Hermanos Blanco College as a watchman. 

Instead of sitting under a cardboard box outside a car wash every day, Maria Rosa now shares a commute with her father to and from a place where both can work and learn.

Jose is grateful that his daughter is now attending school as she should, and he feels blessed to have a secure job. Surely his optimistic attitude and determined work ethic have rubbed off on his daughter.