June 15, 2007

Child of the week

name: Ingrid Caal
age: 9
grade: 1st
favorite subject: spanish
favorite sport: soccer
future goal: to be a teacher

Sometimes is is hard to see the direct academic impact that our scholarship program has on the kids. We know that all the children in our program could not have studied this year without outside help. We can see that they are in school and now part of something academic, but are they succeeding and thriving? The school system in Salacuim is a long ways from being known as the best of the best, but you work with what you have.

first ever school supplies

Ingrid has been one of the rare transformations to watch academically. At 9 years old, she was given the chance to go to school for the first time in her life. Being from one of the poorer families, she had never been able to attend the last three years that she was eligible. In the last 5 months, we have seen her go from only being able to draw pictures to express herself to writing words and sentences. She is now able to read and write at a basic level. A level which is well beyond what her mother is at. To me, that is progress. To see huge steps like this being taken in a short amount of time is the definition of why we are doing this program. Ingrid gives us some hope that we are doing the right thing and making a positive contribution to the way people think about education here.

In Salacuim and perhaps rural Guatemala in general, girls quickly become labeled as future mothers and wives that will take care of the home and have no need to be educated. We hope to break some of this cycle by starting young and giving the girls a chance to explore and succeed before they are consumed by years of tradition. Ingrid is now setting the example for her two younger sisters and living the dream of her mother to be an educated adult.

ingrid, mom and sisters

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