Starfish Spotlight: Josué and Dennis

There’s no better way to learn about Starfish than to sit down with a few of our scholars and ask them about their lives. This week, we caught up with Josué and Dennis.

We asked them about their goals, plans for the future, and role models. For both, going to college is high on the list of priorities. The question of whether or not they plan to continue their education is met with “of COURSE I’m going to go to university!”

To obtain this goal, both students realize the importance of hard work now, “One of my first goals is to finish high school while being an excellent student and getting good grades. This would help me to have a good foundation for when I take the university acceptance exam,” explains Josué. He hopes to get a career in technology – something like systems or computer engineering or programming. “It’s something I’m passionate about”, he says. Then adds, “and it is a career that you can get a lot of work in many countries.”

Dennis hopes to one day provide support for his parents, and although he doesn’t mention his exact plans for the future, he echoes Josué’s enjoyment of computer programming .

As for role models, both reference their parents. “They have helped me so much,” explains Josué simply. “My parents are my inspiration,” says Dennis,
“I admire my mom and my dad greatly because they sacrifice a lot so that I can have many things, such as food, an education, and a place to live.” He thanks both his parents for the help they give him with school and homework, as well as working very hard “so that the whole family can be happy.”

Although the future is never predictable, one thing is clear: both these young men have bright futures ahead of them, and we know they’ll make their families very proud.

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Julio Ponce: 2017 Graduate

26190743582_3eedcd05ef_bGraduation is always a time for celebration, reflections, and looking ahead. This week, I had a conversation with Julio Ponce about his education thus far, what might be next, and the people who inspire him to dream big.

Are you going to attend college? And, if you are going to attend, what do you want to study?
Julio: I plan to go to university to study architecture or nursing.

What are some of the most important moments you remember from school – your favorite memories?
Julio: The most important times were spending time with my friends. The most unforgettable date was when I took part in the flag ceremony.

What are some goals that you have for your experience and studies at university?
Julio: My goal is to get a degree in architecture and to create a building that is well known.

Is there a person who inspires you?
Julio: The person who inspires me is my mom since she has always worked hard for me. Now it is my turn to work hard for her.

Have you changed during your time at school?
Julio: Yes, I change my habits at school; now I’m more responsible. I’ve also learned to express myself and am comfortable speaking in front of the other people on various subjects.

How did you discover and develop your talents and skills during school?
Julio: I already had the talent but the more time I spent at school, the more those talents developed. I found I was also able to teach certain skills to my classmates and teachers.

What do you expect to achieve over the next five years?
Julio: Get a university degree and share it with my family so I can help others.

If you could change one thing about your educational experience so far, what would it be?
Julio: I would not change anything because what I’ve learned in school will help me in my life.

Wow! Now that’s a smart and highly motivated Starfish! With this kind of thinking, motivation, and desire to succeed, we know Julio will achieve great things.

“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Interview with a Graduate: Joselyn Calle

29333905716_08584a97de_zSwam on down to Ecuador this week to connect with one of our 2017 graduates – Joselyn Calle. We chatted about memories from the past and dreams for the future. 

Are you going to attend college? And, if you are going to attend, what do you want to study?

Joselyn: If I go to college I would like to pursue law degree.

What are some of the most important moments you remember from school – your favorite memories?

Joselyn: Getting together with my classmates. To have shared many experiences and anecdotes that in the future will tell my children about.  

What are your expectations for your university experiences?

Joselyn: I think my goals and experiences at university will be nice and satisfying.

Is there a person who inspires you? If so, why?

Joselyn: The people who inspire me are very special in my life. They have given me support and trust, which inspires me.

Have you changed during your time at school?

Joselyn: Yes, I have noticed some changes in myself. I have become more responsible, my skills have grown which makes me proud because I feel that I am a very capable person.  

Calle Joseline-2017What talents and skills did you discover or develop at school?

Joselyn: My skills and talents are unique, I believe I’m a woman who is very capable of doing different things. I do not have a specific talent but I feel that I am able to fulfill my dreams and goals.

What do you hope to achieve over the next five years?

Joselyn: To have accomplished my goals and continue with my professional career.

 

If you could change one thing about your educational experience would it be?

Joselyn: My educational experience was very pleasant, so I would not change anything. They are anecdotes in my life which give me many examples, so I would not change anything.

Thanks Joselyn! And congratulations of your graduation. We know your future is bright and full of wonderful experiences. 

Hugs!
Henry

 

¿Vas a asistir a la universidad? Y, si vas a asistir, ¿qué quieres estudiar?

Si voy asistir y me gustaría seguir la carrera leyes

¿Qué son unos momentos más importantes que recuerdas del colegio- tus memorias favoritas?

Si voy a las reuniones con mis compañeros. Haber compartido muchas experiencias y anécdotas que en algún futuro serán contadas a mis hijos

¿Qué son unas metas que tienes para tu experiencia y estudias en la universidad?

Mis metas y mis experiencias para la universidad pensar que voy hacer sean agradables y satisfactoria

¿Hay una persona que te inspira? Si hay ¿Por qué?

La persona que me inspira es muy especial en mi vida la cual me ha brindado su apoyo y confianza por esa razón es una inspiración para mí

¿Has cambiado durante tu tiempo en el colegio?

Sí, he notado algunos cambios en mi me he vuelto más responsable mis capacidades han aumentado lo cual me enorgullece porque siento que soy una persona muy capas

¿Cómo descubriste tu talento y tus habilidades en el colegio?

Mis habilidades y talentos son únicos yo me creo una mujer súper que capaz de realizar diversas cosas no tengo un talento en específico pero si recomiendo que soy capaz de cumplir mis sueños y metas propuestas

¿Qué esperas lograr durante los próximos cincos años?

Haber culminado a seguir con mi carrera profesional

¿Si pudieras cambiar una cosa sobre tu experiencia educativa que sería?

Mi experiencia educativa fue muy agradable por lo cual no cambiaría nada ya que son anécdotas en mi vida la cual me dan muchos ejemplo por  lo cual yo no cambiaría nada

Notes from a Scholar: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

Over the past week, I took a wonderful trip down to Ecuador to visit one of our awesome Starfish students, Mayerli Bravo. We discussed her future, goals, family and faith. Let’s take a look at what Mayerli had to say about where she sees herself in five years:

myerli“In five years, I imagine myself finishing high school, graduating with my friends and school fellows, celebrating with my family that important moment of my life, as they have been an essential pillar for the achievement of my goals.

Furthermore, I imagine myself focusing on a college degree, maybe acquiring some knowledge in a specialization, and afterward focusing and projecting myself on it.

Because my family has been very supportive, I would like to become a specialized professional so that I can help them and reward them all the hard work and effort that they have devoted to me and my studies. Certainly, they can feel very happy and proud of me

I would like to be able to study veterinary medicine or become a stewardess.

I know that with God´s guide and the moral, emotional and physical support from my parents, I will be able to meet my goals.”

Thanks again, Mayerli, for an awesome conversation! I just know that with your passion, motivation and family support, you’ll be able to do anything you set your mind to!

Until next time,
Henry

Original interview:

Me imagino dentro de cinco años terminando el colegio, graduandome con mis amigos y compañeros, festejando con mi familia ese gran momento de mi vida, ya que han sido un pilar fundamental para el cumplimiento de mis metas.

Ademas me imagino enfocandome en una carrera universitaria, quizas adquiriendo un poco de conocimiento en una especialidad para luego enfocarme o proyectarme en una de ellas.

Gracias a que mi familia ha sido un gran apoyo, me gustaria ser una profesional en alguna especializacion, para asi poder ayudarlos y recompensar todo el arduo trabajo y el gran esfuerzo que han dedicado en mi y en mis estudios, y desde luego puedan sentirse muy contentos y orgullosos de mi.

Quisiera poder estudiar veterinaria o llegar a ser una azafata.
Se que con la Guia de Dios y el apoyo moral, emocional y fisico de mis padres podre cumplir con mis objetivos.

2016: A Year in Review

Wow, another year gone past, and at Starfish it has been a busy and exciting one! We wanted to take a quick moment to go through our year in review:

This year we currently have about 125 students participating several times per week each! “The quantity of students enrolled in Starfish is a testament to our staff and programs that more people always want to enroll and are excited about education!” says co-founder Jenn.

From March Madness to the Baltimore Benefit Dinner our year was off to a great start! Our Sponsor a Scholar program really took off, and Starfish welcomed new friends and volunteers.

Summer was a busy time for us. June started with an awesome soccer tournament which helped raise funds for the organization. In June we also launched a 5th tutoring group out of our head quarters in Flor de Bastión.

In August we had our “Friends of Starfish” trip where volunteers went to Ecuador to  capture photos and stories, participate in tutoring sessions, and re-launch our Snapchat account. They also joined our scholars for a field trip to the Botanical Gardens. In August we also had our talent show – showcasing our talents and leadership skills – “that night was magical because we were together as a family and we all gave our whole hearts, because Starfish is our little home.” said one participant.

Throughout the summer we had fantastic volunteers in Ecuador who helped with workshops, taught English, helped coordinate soccer an taught sport classes, creating a mural, and even put together Professional Development Workshops for staff.

During the summer, our 11th and 12th grade students also started getting into teams to start working on their Senior Service Projects. The four scholars in Guasmo have teamed up to work with a local hospital and/or shelter to volunteer their time and energy and also the bring needed items like food and clothing. They also plan to organize activities to bring them joy. The other three projects are being carried out in Flor de Bastión. The first, focusing on communication and integration hopes to bring people of the community together to improve relations. The second group, who are still ironing out the specifics, hope to work with seniors to brighten their day. The third group is planning literacy classes for adults in the neighborhood who never learned to read or write.

In the Fall Scholars in Ecuador hosted their annual “Olympiadas” where they participated in various athletic activities. They also restarted their recycling initiative including an awareness campaign for the local community. In the US, we had a fundraiser at a Baltimore Orioles game – great fun!

The US and Ecuador came together for our first annual #StarfishSearch Scavenger Hunt – as teams of up to 6 individuals competed for 12 hours to capture fun photos and videos, complete random acts of kindness, and spread the word about Starfish.

And, perhaps, most important, we celebrated our 5th BIRTHDAY this year on November 9th, which was a great time for us to reflect on how thankful we are for “The help of all of our long-term volunteers from the U.S. and worldwide who have brought unique projects and skills to Starfish – their knowledge and skills they teach our students and staff really make a lasting difference!” This year we also saw our Social Media Interns program grow which was really amazing, and we super appreciate how they’ve helped our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages grow.

As we look back, we know it is also important to look ahead, and look forward to continuing to grow and serve in the coming years.So what are we looking forward to in the new year?

Here are our 7 New Year’s Resolutions for 2017:

  1. Finalize our registration as an Ecuadorian non-profit
  2.  Purchase land and begins plans to build new classrooms
  3. Continue to increase the quality of education we offer at Starfish so students can receive a quality education and skills necessary to be successful professionals despite the broken school system they are forced to attend
  4. Continue to improve other services offered at Starfish to help remove other barriers to education and create well-rounded young people ready to make a difference in their communities and the world
  5. Expand our partnerships in Ecuador in order to better serve our students and their families
  6. Get our college prep program up & running so our students have the tools they need to gain entrance and to be successful in college.
  7. Seeing the amount of people who learn about Starfish continue to increase!

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Happy 5th Birthday Starfish!

Earlier this week, the Starfish Foundation celebrated it’s 5th birthday! That’s five years of providing scholarship, tutoring, and leadership development to youth living in extreme poverty in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Over that time frame, Starfish has grown and grown – and currently serves over 120 scholars in Guasmo and Flor de Bastion.

Jenn and beth.jpgThe idea for the Starfish Foundation developed after co-founders Beth and Jenn volunteered for a year in Ecuador, where they volunteered at a shelter for former street kids. A lot of these kids had no family or little support at home. Though many of them had the motivation to study, they lacked financial resources to be able to attend school once leaving the shelter.

Though public schools in Ecuador are free, families often still struggle to provide all the necessary materials (uniforms, books, school supplies, etc) while living on minimum wage and trying to feed a whole family. For many, the easiest solution was to not go to school. The Starfish Foundation works to fill a need that focuses on the importance of education as a catalyst for future success of each student and their communities, and provides scholarships and mentoring to students in financial need who have the motivation to continue their studies despite challenging circumstances.

But the success comes not just from funding scholars, but also seeing bright, caring, thoughtful individuals find the means to achieve their goals. It’s about seeing faces light up with smiles. It’s about promoting confidence through talent shows and interviews. It’s about creating a sense of community through outreach. It’s about improving our environment by encouraging sustainable living and recycling. It’s about service and instilling the values of hard work and giving back to the community in our scholars. It’s about big dreams, and big plans, and big ideas.

It’s about giving every scholar the boost they need to be the best version of themselves.

Over the last 5 years, there have been a lot of incredible moments for Starfish. Some highlights for Beth include:

  • On the trip last year, there was a moment when we got together all the “original” Starfish Scholars. It was kind of like the end of A League of Their Own – very nostalgic to remember back those early days, but impressive to see how these young adults (now) have grown up and are now giving back to Starfish as employees or volunteers!
  • Bringing my parents and best friend (basically my sister, in Spanish they call her my ñaña) to see Starfish. They are SO supportive and it was so special to have them meet our Scholars and their families!
  • The experience of growing our Board this fall. It was really the first time we had done anything quite like this – but the interviews with so many WONDERFUL people were delightful. I have loved getting to know our new members and seeing their positive energy. They have already started to give back in so many extraordinary ways!
  • Our 5th birthday! It was a tiring week, and a challenging time to see our country divided in the election, but in the midst of stress and discord, it was something to celebrate. The amount of people who wished me a happy birthday that day — I wondered if I should double-check my birth certificate 😉

As we look back, we’re so thankful to everyone who has been a part of this journey – we’re thankful for the support, friendship, prayers, and donations. As we look back, we know it is also important to look ahead, and look forward to continuing to grow and serve in the coming years. Some of our goals include:

  • Putting together a robust U.S. Operations team. We’re well on our way to doing so – an amazing set of Managers / Advisers for Development, Communications, and Volunteer Management, efficient Admin team of our Sr. Admin Assistant, Accountant, and Tech Guru, and an amazing team of Social Media interns. We have work to do, though, in creating the best structure to maximize capacity and efficiency – and I’d love to see us get to a great point with that.
  • Officially registering in Ecuador, buying land, and building our dream “house.” It’s the longest, most complicated process EVER, but we are nearing the end, and that’s pretty incredible.
  • Supremely increasing the attendance at our Giving Tuesday and An Evening for the Stars (Baltimore Benefit Dinner) events. We have some SNAZZY new tricks up our sleeve (this year, for example, just your presence at any Giving Tuesday results in a $10 donation to Starfish – thanks to a generous match!)
  • Seeing the amount of people who learn about Starfish continue to increase!

I hope you can agree it’s been an incredible Journey, and yet an even more amazing one awaits us. I also hope you’ll join me in wishing Starfish a very warm and loving HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

starfish-birthday

Starfish Scholar Spotlight: Elizabeth Delgado talks about Ecuador

Hola!

This week, I swam on down to Ecuador to have a conversation with Elizabeth Delgado about her country, what she loves about it, and how she hopes to see it improve in the future.

“Ecuador is a very beautiful country, it has a lot of great places to visit, and its people are very nice and welcoming, always celebrating the best of society.” says Elizabeth.

Ecuador is home to an incredible array of wonders – everything from colonial towns to the Amazon rain forest, and from the spectacular peaks of the Andes to the Galápagos Islands. Whether it’s nature, wildlife, culture, anthropology or language, this diverse country is sure to impress.

“Nevertheless, there are things that I’d like to change”, Elizabeth continues. One of those things is crime.

29259513292_7709b67a4e_z“Regrettably nowadays, in every corner of the country, there is a lot of delinquency, It’s normal to hear about or see assaults every day – in the street, in banks, in stores, or in houses. There are all kinds of crimes and the worst of it is that, pitifully, even the youngest children participate.This makes it so we live with uncertainty and the fear that something bad may happen.

“I wish to change this negative aspect of my country, not only so that society can live in peace without any kind of danger, but also so that those people who are risking losing their lives also have a positive change.”

How would this change be brought about? Well Elizabeth has an answer for that too: “To accomplish this it’s important that we help those people; maybe they’ve let their lives take this course because they don’t count on support, and that is really what they need… (Making a) change really depends on everyone, so that we are able to have a little stability when it comes to our safety.”

Well said, Elizabeth, well said.

 

Original interview:

Ecuador es un País muy hermoso, posee muchos lugares dignos de visitar, su gente es muy amable y hospitalaria, siempre brinda lo mejor de sí, a la sociedad. Sin embargo, existen cosas que me gustaría que cambien, por ejemplo, hay muchos factores negativos que manchan la sociedad en la cual vivimos, pero una de las cosas que me gustaría cambiar es la delincuencia.

Lamentablemente hoy en día, por todos los rincones de este país, hay mucha delincuencia, cada día es normal escuchar o ver asaltos en las calles, en bancos, en tiendas, en viviendas, en fin, existe todo tipo de delincuencia y lo peor de todo es que lastimosamente participan desde los más pequeños hasta los más grandes. Esto hace que vivamos con miedo e incertidumbre de que algo malo ocurra.

Deseo cambiar este aspecto negativo de mi País, no tan solo para que la sociedad viva en paz sin ningún tipo de peligro, sino también, para que estas personas que están echando a perder sus vidas tengan un cambio positivo, para esto es importante que se implementen o den más ayuda a estas personas, que quizás han permitido que sus vidas lleven ese rumbo porque no cuentan con un apoyo, y eso es lo que realmente necesitan.

Por eso creo que el cambio de esto depende de todos nosotros, para así poder tener un poco de estabilidad en cuanto a este aspecto.

Starfish Scholars: Dreams and Goals for the Future

Hello all, Henry here! Thank you to those of you who joined us earlier this month for the #StarfishSearch Scavenger Hunt. I loved seeing all your pictures and videos, and sharing in your day as you completed random acts of kindness and completed fun tasks. You guys sure made me smile! Check back next week for a review – complete with pictures and videos from the hunt!

This week, I also had the chance to connect with some of our Starfish Scholars about their life goals – where they hope to be in a few years, and what would make them feel successful, and now I’m here to share their stories with you.

First I connected with Melissa who wants to go into the medical field when she’s older. She is inspired by the people she met in her life and the struggles they faced:

28744235494_043e01c534_z“When I was ten years old I would see many sick people and many of them died due to some severe illness. This inspired me and I decided I would be a nurse or a doctor in order to cure all of the sick, and in this way find a cure for all of the illnesses and reduce the mortality rate of the country. I want to be a nurse or doctor recognized at the international level, with cures for all types of illnesses including AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

I don’t want to give treatments, but instead provide cures, because it saddens me that people die. I am scared of death. I would not like to die. I eat well and stay healthy in order to not contract any fatal illness. I invite you all to take care of yourselves each day. Life is not a game, it is a gift from God and only He can fix it.”

 

What an amazing goal Melissa! I know with your hard work and dedication to the cause, you’ll go far in changing to bringing good health to those around you.

Next up, I met up with Geovanny. He sees himself as a police commander in five years. Why? “To help my family,” he explains simply. We know he’ll do his part to make the world, and his community, a safer place.

Milena has different plans. In five years she hopes to be a flight attendant:

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“I imagine myself in 5 years finishing school, graduating with all my classmates, my parents would be happy, going to university, picking a profession that allows me to be a flight attendant, this will help us see how God’s timing is perfect.”

 

 

 

My last stop on this trip was with Detsy. She has a love for children and hopes to serve them through the field of pediatrics:

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When I grow up I would like to be a professional in the area of pediatrics. Since I was little I have always liked children; I always considered that they are the ones that need care and attention, and because of that I would like to be a great doctor.

I know that to be able to accomplish my goals I should focus on my studies. Right now I’m still in high school and have a few years left before I can graduate. For now I will dedicate myself fully to my studies so that I don’t have obstacles and I can achieve the goals that I’ve set.

I know that a pediatric degree requires a lot of dedication, because it’s a degree that demands a lot of time and effort, but with the help of my parents, professors and my own commitment, I will be able to become a great pediatrician.

I just love young people with BIG goals, BIG dreams, and BIG plans, and I know with commitment to education, hard work, and the support of the people around you, anyone can do BIG things. The four students, along with the rest of the Starfish Scholars will go on to do great things.

What greatness do you hope to accomplish in life? I’d love to hear from you!

All my best,
Henry

Breaking News: 2015-16 Scholars announced!

We are excited to announce that we have accepted 55 scholarship recipients for the 2015-16 school year.  Decisions were difficult this year as we received almost 90 applicants.  However, these 55 Scholars demonstrated excellence through their academic and personal achievements and motivation.  In order to be selected, applicants took part in a rigorous selection process which included application, interview, home visits and a review of their participation and academic advancement over the past school year.

Please join us in congratulating –

From Guasmo –
Returning scholars: Briggitte, Steve, Yesenia, Geovanny and Sofia!
New Scholars: Luis A, Sara, Joselin C, Kimberly, Ruddy, Angie F, Darwin, Luis G, Isis, Jesus, Genesis O, Melany, Jean Carlos, Jorggy and Mike!

From Flor de Bastión –
Returning Scholars: Dayana, Briggitte, Joselyn C, Miguel, Juliana, Gema, Jordy, Milena, Anthony, Julio, Arelisa, Michelle and Betsy!
New Scholars: Gabriela, Daniel, Jhon, María B, Alexander, Nayeli, Melissa, María L, Alexis, Itaty, Ericka, Michelle, Adolfo, Josue, Luiggi, Joselyn Q, Genesis R, Angie S, Ariana, Oscar, Lucy y Abraham

This past weekend we held the first official meeting with our new class of Scholars and their parents.  It was very successful and we hope this is a sign of many good things to come for this year!

¡Felicidades Graduados!

¡Felicidades Graduados! – Congrats Grads!
Last week, 6 Starfish Scholars officially completed one of their goals – they are now high school graduates!! We are so proud of them; They’ve accomplished so much and have so much more to come.  
Graduates Pamela, Cristhian, Eddy & Lili with Co-Founder Jenn
Lili, Pamela & Cristhian are 3 of the inspirations for Starfish.  I first met them when I was a volunteer in 2010-2011 at Casa Don Bosco, a shelter for street kids that at that the time also ran an after-school program for neighborhood kids.  They were all in the equivalent of 8th grade, but already leaders.  Their perseverance in the face of challenges was part of my motivation for wanting to return to Ecuador and help educate more youth.  Eddy joined this group of inseparable friends 3 years ago when he met the others at school and then joined us at Starfish.  Watching all of them grow up over the years has been amazing.  Each one of them continues to inspire me and teach me new things every day.  
Graduates Joel, Pamela, Mirka, Lili, Cristhian & Eddy at our year-end celebration!
Now Lili is working as a seamstress and with hopes of completing a year of volunteer work in a different part of Ecuador through Casa Don Bosco.  Eddy dreams of studying communications and becoming a TV presenter.  Cristhian dreams of becoming a pilot, and Pamela a flight attendant.  Although they have graduated, Starfish continues to support all of them as they find out all of the options to achieve their dreams! Mirka is the last addition to the Flor de Bastión group of graduates.  Joining us just this past year, she quickly left a grand impression on all of us.  Her maturity is way beyond her years and for this reason our employees chose her to give the welcoming speech and reflection this year as a representation of the whole Flor de Bastión community in our closing ceremony.  Mirka will be continuing her studies this year at the state university where many of our employees study.
Joel and his mom with his acceptance letter to a prestigious college scholarship program!!
Last, but certainly not least, is our lone graduate from Guasmo this year – Joel.  Like some of the others, Joel has been a Starfish Scholar since our first days here in Guayaquil.  He has always shown us 100% effort to do his best in everything that is asked of him, and especially in his studies.  Joel is a natural leader, and a dedicated student.  We always knew Joel was special, and now someone else has recognized him too!  A few months ago we attended a talk about a scholarship open to any student achieving a 9 or higher average in school.  Joel sounded like a good fit and he applied.  After a rigorous application process complete with an interview, tutoring sessions, test and home visit, we found out that Joel was selected for a 100% scholarship!  He will be completing a business degree at the Tecnológico Espíritu Santo along with some of the country’s best and brightest students.  Due to the high costs of the university, this privilege is usually reserved only for the country’s wealthiest.  Thanks to his efforts, Joel now has an excellent opportunity to really break the cycle of poverty in his family and we are so excited to see where this journey will take him in the future!
Flor grads with special gifts from their educadores!!
All of our grads have been invited back to continue to help us as role models and volunteers in the next school year, so we look forward to keeping you updated on their continued accomplishments!!