Sometimes what is taught in a classroom doesn’t come from a book. That lesson was evident as Hackberry High School students lined the hallways to honor their teacher’s accomplishment of becoming a U.S. citizen.
Spanish teacher Lino Campos’ journey from Yucatan, Mexico to Cameron Parish is inspiring his students to strive for success.
“When I came in 2009, I was sent to Cameron Parish, and I didn’t know about Cameron Parish, but this was the best place I could be sent,” Campos said.
Even before they knew him, Campos said the community welcomed him in, even throwing a baby shower for his first child.
Over the years, his family’s roots in SWLA continued to grow.
“It started when the school board asked me to stay. Because I came as part of the CODOFIL international teachers program for the Louisiana Department of Education, and then I came for three years only, but after those three years the school board said Lino, we’d like you to stay with us for some extra time,” he said.
He is still there today, providing lessons in the classroom and in life.
“We had two babies in the United States, and we decided it was time for us to settle in the United States and take all of the steps to become American citizens,” he said.
To accomplish his goal he had to pass the U.S. citizenship test, so the teacher became the student.
“You have to study about the history and laws of the United States, and we did flash cards and we studied every night,” Campos said.
The hard work paid off – Campos and his wife passed their tests.
“It was one of the best things we have ever done in our lives,” he said.
Once again, Cameron Parish came through, holding “USA Day” to celebrate their teacher’s new citizenship.
“They did all of this and I didn’t expect it. That means a lot to me. It means that I am accepted by the community. I was telling them a lot of people can be citizens of any country, but to be accepted by the country and the community, that means a lot to me.”
It means a lot to his students as well.
Campos is sending his students into the world with the knowledge that anything can be accomplished if you’re willing to work for it.