Henry entered CoEd’s Rise Program in 2017 as a shy ninth-grader. Today, he’s a successful graduate thanks to his own hard work, his family’s investment in him, and his Rise sponsors—who believed in his future.

They say hard work pays off, but what do we do when that advice doesn’t pan out? For children in rural Guatemala, it’s seldom the ticket to success. Over 60% of students never make it past primary school; many live on $4 a day. More so, these kids are no strangers to putting in long hours, many taking on jobs alongside their parents to tackle the cost of living.

However, despite the challenges, these kids still have BIG dreams. So, where’s their golden ticket? 

“I was the only one out of my five siblings that was able to finish high school,” says Henry, a graduate of Cooperative for Education’s (CoEd’s) Rise Youth Development Program. “I want to earn more and more to be able to achieve my biggest dream: a house,” he expresses. 

Today, Henry makes double what his parents make. “They did not get a chance to finish primary school. They work in the fields as day laborers. I make much more money now than I would make in the fields,” he explains. 

We often say at CoEd that Rise is more than a scholarship. Many don’t think of the total cost of an education. Aside from tuition, students jump over many other hurdles to access quality education. To address these challenges, Rise students gain access to comprehensive support services, like:

Henry shared how his Rise scholarship helped turn the table in his and his family’s favor: “When we found out it covered tuition, books, computers (to use at the school), and they even helped us with the bus tickets, I knew I had to get good grades, not for them but for me, because you need to be consistent when studying.” 

And consistent he remains. Now that he has achieved his dream of graduation, he has set his sights on his second goal. “I live with my parents, and my dream is to build a house for them and one for me,” says Henry. 

Henry expresses, “I would like to thank CoEd for opening a door for me. I thank God, CoEd, and my sponsors for choosing me. I think many young people were trying to get the scholarship, but thanks to my grades and effort, I was able to get it. Supporting studies is a big help that CoEd gives.”   

Henry and many other students have found comfort and support in the Rise Program. Thanks to people like you, they know that they don’t have to go through their challenges alone. Sponsors like you provide the missing ingredient, adding the extra support and encouragement that enables students’ hard work to pay off!

Interested in sponsoring a student like Henry?

It’s back-to-school season in Guatemala! Help us match sponsors with 60 new Rise scholars by February 29th. Click on the photos below to meet some of the students!