Posts Tagged ‘girls education’

On Sponsors and Students: “You Are Important to Me”

Monday, April 17th, 2017

When Rebecca Wilks went on her first CoEd tour in 2007, she never imagined that she and her husband Marco would end up changing a young person’s life—and being changed by her in return. But as she ate lunch with a friend and the two Scholarship Program students that her friend was sponsoring, she knew she had to become a sponsor too: “I was so impressed with these two, and with the program in general, that I persuaded my husband that we should participate.”

A short while later, Rebecca and Marco met Florentina Taquez (Flor) for the first time. “She was twelve and painfully quiet, yet she had a steadfast determination,” Rebecca wrote in a blog post about their relationship with Flor.

Guatemala charity sponsor student

Flor, soon after she began the program.


Cande Daniela: On the Path to Healing

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Guatemala computer student

“The computer will be a tool I can use to defend myself against any problems I face.”


Sandra Capen: Hungering for Something Different

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Sandra Capen

From a young age, Sandra Capen was motivated to get good grades by her parents—who sacrificed so much to educate their three children that the family sometimes went without food. Throughout grade school Sandra couldn’t eat lunch with her friends or purchase the school supplies that she needed to bring her creative ideas for projects to life. Instead, she swallowed her hunger and made do with what she had, never asking her parents for money. (more…)

Rock Band Has Soft Spot for Girls’ Education

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Back in August GRAMMY nominated rock band The National performed back-to-back benefit concerts in support of the Thousand Girls Initiative. Now lead singer Matt Berninger (Joe and Jeff’s cooler cousin) and the rest of the band are back with another super-sweet project to support girls’ education!


Joe Requests a Drumroll

Joe requests a drumroll


Behind the scenes with Ryan Van Duzer

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Founding member of the CoEd Best Friends Club Ryan Van Duzer took a week out of his hectic schedule to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to live in rural Guatemala. He spent four days with two different families who have children in our Scholarship & Youth Development Program. The footage he recorded speaks volumes about the difficulties of living in rural Guatemala and the barriers to education that exist for these families. Barriers that you are helping us break down!

And of course, there’s also some laughter… and games… and cake…

Take a few minutes to watch Ryan’s video diaries. It is truly eye-opening to see the poverty surrounding these families, and the determination these girls have to succeed in school despite the obstacles.

Wendy is one of ONE THOUSAND GIRLS who will benefit from our Thousand Girls Initiative. Without a CoEd scholarship, Wendy will not be able to stay in school. Instead she will stay at home to help her mom with all of the household chores you just saw. It takes a lot of work to put food on the table in Guatemala. Her parents would be glad to have Wendy’s helping hands in the kitchen full-time.

But instead, Wendy’s education will be paid for by a generous sponsor, and she will learn valuable life skills through CoEd’s Youth Development program. Instead of becoming another statistic, Wendy has the chance to become a teacher, a doctor or whatever else she puts her mind to—she has the ability to dream because she won’t be forced to drop out.

She will be given the life-changing gift of education.

We hope you will help us spread the word about the Thousand Girls Initiative. We hope you will help us bring the life-changing gift of education to one thousand girls in Guatemala. Let’s get started right now!

When You Educate a Girl…

Monday, April 11th, 2016

“What’s this?” Jeff asked, puzzled.

He was at the office in Guatemala and two scholarship students were handing him a sealed envelope. “These are the leftover funds from our service project,” one of the girls said. “We would like to sponsor another student.” Her eyes shone as she looked up at CoEd’s founder.

Jeff accepts the scholarship students' donation.


Berta Alicia Chancho Vit: Choosing a New Path in Guatemala

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Berta Alicia Primero Basico
Growing up in rural Guatemala is hard. No one would blame 22-year-old Berta Alicia Chancho Vit had she followed the normal path: Go to primary school for a few years. Drop out to work in the fields or the home. Get married too young. Have children. Watch them follow in your footsteps. Grow old under the weight of unfulfilled dreams. But Berta Alicia refused to follow the normal path. Instead, she blazed an entirely new one.

“I have always wanted to study and graduate from high school,” Berta Alicia says. While that might seem like a reasonable goal, it is anything but easy—in rural Guatemala, 80% of indigenous students drop out of school by the seventh grade. Thanks to Berta Alicia’s diligence in primary school, she was awarded a scholarship by CoEd to study through middle school and high school. This was the life-changing chance she had been waiting for, so she got right to work. (more…)

Donor Spotlight: Educating Girls in Developing Countries

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Luisa Tocoché
Luisa isn’t supposed to be in school.

She had been accepted into the Scholarship & Youth Development Program and matched with a sponsor, but shortly before the school year started last January, her sister called to tell us that Luisa, who is only 13 years old, was working in Guatemala City as a maid, and would no longer be able to receive the scholarship.  (more…)

The Ripple Effects of Education: Reyna Por Rodriguez’s story

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

The pain was unbearable. Sitting still for more than a few minutes was an exercise in intense concentration, but Reyna Por Rodriguez had no other choice. She tried to block out the pain, instead focusing on the teacher’s soft voice at the front of the room and the feel of the crisp paper in between her fingertips. She pictured her sponsors in the United States, and the family counting on her at home. Determined to take full advantage of her Cooperative for Education (CoEd) scholarship, she vowed to stay in school, no matter what.

Diversificado service, ex-becados campamento 327

Reyna beams as she talks about the goals and dreams she has achieved thanks to CoEd’s Scholarship & Youth Development Program.

Reyna reflects on that painful time in her life, when a bad accident left her unable to sit for extended periods of time. She recounts the struggle of encouraging her younger brother with disabilities to stay in school, saying, with tears in her eyes, “My own experience serves as an example to him to keep going, even when times are tough.”

Reyna is not only an example for her younger brother, but for all nine of her siblings. Her single mother never had the chance to attend school, and is illiterate. Without the means to afford tuition, four of Reyna’s older siblings had to drop out of school, further miring their family in poverty.

Then Reyna was accepted into CoEd’s Scholarship & Youth Development Program, and everything changed. (more…)

Strength of a Soul: A poem

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Strength of a Soul

by Gina Regan

She doesn’t know how to make the wretched world right,

troubled by the turmoil on every map,

Earth’s canvas checkered with chaos.

She wants to squeeze her sad eyes shut,

Allowing no sliver of bright light to penetrate her calm, dark insides,

Her idyllic island amidst the devastation.


Instead she works and she claws and she fights

to return some semblance of balance, to counteract despair with light.

She doesn’t shirk from the swollen world

engorged with pride and hate and disdain.

She gently prods the earth, nudging and poking until it sighs in resignation,

a puncture in its vile armor finally visible.


She is a hero working to slip sanity and strength into the craven world’s heart,

Putting others’ future before her present,

Offering her bright soul to make the barren earth bearable,

Fruitful, joyous.