We don’t know if you’re aware, but it’s already 2016 (nothing gets past us!). The new school year in Guatemala has started, and teacher training is well underway. We have some very exciting things in the works for y’all this year (hint: that was us dropping a hint), but before we get ahead of ourselves, we want to take a moment to reflect back on the whirlwind of a year we just concluded. At the beginning of the year, we deemed 2015 #AwesomeYear, and thanks to YOU, our ambitious hashtagging paid off! Below are just a few of the myriad of reasons 2015 was indeed #awesome:
1. New Education Center in Guatemala: This is #1 for a reason, people. This new center is HUGE (literally and figuratively) for CoEd. We were thrilled to be able to purchase this center in 2015, and are working hard to turn it into the best space possible for serving students and teachers. We can’t wait to see how everything turns out once the construction dust settles. And yes, you are all invited to the housewarming party. If you’ve ever been on tour or to Fall Fiesta, you know we like to throw a good party.
2. Graduation Tour: If you aren’t a scholarship sponsor,
A) We highly encourage it; it’s a pretty stellar experience.
B) You may not be aware that we launched a brand new tour this year for scholarship sponsors to attend their students’ graduation ceremony. It was a resounding success, and a really special time for sponsors and students to come together and celebrate this incredible accomplishment (to give you some context, 80% of rural, indigenous students drop out of school by the 7th grade, so yeah, making it past the 12th grade is kind of a big deal). Hang tight for the 2016 dates!
3. Remember that one time a Grammy Award nominated, internationally recognized, gold record selling, cool beyond measure band stopped everything to perform two back to back concerts benefiting CoEd? We’re still dumbfounded that this actually happened, but we’ve got the photos to prove it, so I guess we’re all rock stars by association now. Anyone clamoring for an encore?
4. We Became a Registered Charity in Canada: What do you get when you combine our neighbors to the north, a penchant for doing good, tax lawyers and maple syrup (we assume…)? Canadian Friends of Cooperative for Education, of course! This was a loooong time coming, and we are beyond pleased to finally be able to offer tax credits for Canadians wishing to help students in Guatemala.
5. Early Childhood Development (ECD) Partnerships: By partnering with charities focused on ECD, we are able to ensure that our programs are as effective as possible and reach students prior to when they enter primary school. Sounds like a win-win to us!
Let us catch our breath for a second… okay, we’re back. What a crazy, wonderful #AwesomeYear it was! None of these initiatives would have been possible without your generous support, and we can’t wait to carry this momentum through the new year. We have a feeling that 2016 is going to be just as #awesome as 2015, and we look forward to sharing our new projects with you soon!
Any suggestions for an appropriate hashtag for 2016?