Guest Writer: Maddy Okkerse
“Within five years, I see myself studying one of these careers because I want to be a professional in order to be able to help my parents, but above all to give myself the lesson that what one resolves to do may be accomplished when you work hard to achieve it. “ -Jordy Loor
One-Hundred-Forty Students. One-Hundred-Forty Dreams.
The Starfish Foundation inspires scholars like Jordy to go above and beyond their social norm and to reach for the stars. Giving these students a place to study is only one part of the day as a Starfish student.
On their first day, April 24th, students arrived at the foundation wearing the shoes and uniforms provided by the foundation and attended classes. But these are not just your average students;these students are here because they want to be here. Many children in Ecuador of the same age have become involved with tobacco, drugs, or alcohol, but the Starfish scholars have healthy habits and long term goals. These students also attended workshops during the day providing crucial lessons – such as learning about HIV from a Peace Corps volunteers, Bonnie.
Along with workshops, getting to know the other scholars, and reviewing materials from last year, students also were able to attend some of the several clubs offered by the foundation, such as soccer, crafts, computer, dance, and music clubs.
“Here I have met many new friends. In the foundation we can mingle, create very good friendships and besides that also there we learn a lot with the workshops they give. All of this helps me to change and everyday I learn more.” – Maria Belen
Emulated by the staff, these students are also instilled with a love for service early on. From helping paint the classroom walls, to the SAC community service project, many students help to serve their community in someway. For this reason, many of the scholars are not only achieving academic success, but they also develop incredible character.
So a day in the life of a scholar is more than above average; from learning, to service, to dreaming, the success of a scholar never stops.
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