Two years ago, we introduced you to Brenda, a diligent student from a rural Guatemalan community. Brenda is a shy, unassuming, charming young woman. So, naturally her face was plastered on billboards throughout the country. Ok, you might need a little background on this story…

Bilboard of Brenda

On her first ever trip into Guatemala City, Brenda encountered a 30 foot version of herself.

Brenda was selected as the face of CoEd for the Juan Bautista Gutierrez Prize, the highest award given to a nonprofit working in health and education in Guatemala. Thanks to all of your online votes and support of students like Brenda, in 2010, CoEd won the 3rd place Gutierrez Prize (woot woot!). During the competition, CoEd was featured on billboards, news articles, television talk shows, news stations, and in Pollo Campero fried chicken restaurants throughout the country, making CoEd and Brenda household names in Guatemala! So what is Brenda doing now?

Brenda 2011

In 2010, you couldn’t get a bucket of fried chicken in Guatemala without seeing Brenda’s smiling face.

While the billboards plastered with her face have been taken down, we have stayed in touch with Brenda since the whirlwind Gutierrez Prize. Her overnight stardom hasn’t exactly gone to her head – she is currently in her first year of high school, studying to become a bilingual teacher. And this past February, CoEd staff and volunteers attended a reinauguration of the CoEd Textbook Program at Brenda’s middle school. This reinauguration signified that after 5 years of partnership with CoEd, Brenda’s school had successfully saved enough money to replace their books, making the school’s Textbook Program self-sustaining!

We think the future looks bright for Brenda and other students like her in Guatemala, all thanks to your support of CoEd’s educational programs.

Have you ever been on a billboard or talk show?