“I want to serve my community and make my family proud.”
This month, the schools UNUM partners with in Los Verdes and Cruz Blanca are graduating their first senior class. Seven of those graduating seniors applied for UNUM’s College Scholarship Program. For some students, they are the first in their families to graduate from high school, for others, the first to have the opportunity to continue studying in a University. For all of the graduates, it is a significant moment in their lives.
Ana*, who lives in Cruz Blanca, has dreamed of studying medicine since she was little. She is one of five siblings, and due to low economic resources, her siblings were unable to study beyond sixth grade. In Ana’s community, this is common. Many students don’t attend school beyond sixth grade, and many girls are encouraged to drop out before then, or don’t get the chance to attend school at all. Other priorities such as work or caring for younger siblings often take precedent over receiving an education.
But this isn’t Ana’s story. Because of the support of teachers, administrators, peers, and family, she is graduating high school. Not only that, but she has plans to continue studying to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. For Ana, a college education opens doors to opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Having a job with a stable and livable salary, being able to invest back into the community where she lives, and even inspire other friends and family to dream beyond what might typically be expected of them. When asked what her aspirations for the future were, Ana said her desire was to serve her community and make her parents proud.
Sustainable change is possible when we’re committed to investing in the holistic development of individuals and communities. Ana’s life and pursuits are testament of what can happen when we work together to make the dream of a transformed Guatemala, in Christ, a reality.
*Name has been changed for privacy