It was very easy to think of who locally and concretely sponsored my literacy: my mom and a handful of high school teachers. These are the people who directly encouraged my love of reading and writing growing up. My teachers benefited from my literacy because it was their job (and the better I did, the better they looked). This idea also extends to DePaul University. For my mom, she has always considered reading as a key component of being part of her side of the family, so my literacy makes me more of her daughter, in a way. This family idea also works for my dad’s side, but in a slightly different way. They are more removed from me, and the idea of being an Etxeto (my last name before it was changed at Ellis Island) is more abstract. My family comes from a line of shepherds, so my literacy increases the success of the family (assuming it makes me better educated and more likely to earn more money). Another abstract and distant sponsor of my literacy is Fanfiction/Fictionpress. I post my writing on this site, and the more I post (and the better quality), the more content the site has. This also applies to Facebook: my literacy allows me to participate in social media and make them money.
Religion also played a role in my literacy. Not only did I have religious leaders that encouraged me to pursue a career in writing, but writing was encouraged as a connection to others and to God. In my church, we were often told to journal in order to think through our prayers and to connect with God about what was going on in our lives. During mission trips, we also wrote “encouragement cards” to the others in our group in order to convey to them what our prayers for them were and how we felt about them being in our group. My youth group, Campus Life, did this outside of mission trips as well as a way to encourage solidarity with each other.
These are all sponsors that encourage my literacy, however, there are some instances where my literacy has been restricted. The best example of this is when I worked at Pampered Pets Resort and Spa: a doggie daycare. Here, my literacy was restricted to the formats that they wanted, which were scarce. They only wanted me writing in a specific way when writing notes about dogs and to customers. I was not encourage to write outside of these contexts.