This summer, 17 year old Cindy Pinzón Sotz hurried home from her job as a housemaid to join her family in welcoming visitors.
She watched with her mother as her younger siblings, dressed in their crisp Chimazat School uniforms, led Cooperative for Education (CoEd) volunteers down the path to her home, and she smiled as the group chattered about the impressive computer demonstration they had just witnessed at the school and the beauty of the strawberry fields that surrounded them.
As we entered their humble dirt-floor dwelling, someone asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. “We want to be teachers,” the middle school siblings enthusiastically agreed. “I want to be a doctor,” said Cindy’s youngest sister, still in primary school.
Cindy remained silent, resting her hand on her mother’s shoulder. “I don’t know,” she replied softly when the question was finally directed to her. “I don’t really think about it.”
When Cindy dropped out of school between sixth and seventh grade, she didn’t just give up her education, she also gave up her hopes and dreams for a better future.
She would be a maid. She would help support her mother and seven siblings in whatever modest way she could, and she would block out all thoughts of the opportunities that no longer seemed within her grasp.
It didn’t have to be that way.
If only she’d been exposed to the Culture of Reading Program (CORP) in grade school, maybe she would have been so excited about learning that she wouldn’t have discarded her aspirations. If only CoEd’s Scholarship and Youth Development Program had been in place at Chimazat, maybe her mom could have afforded to keep her in school, instead of pressuring her to drop out. If only.
At CoEd, we see young people every day whose dreams for a better life are coming true, thanks to the generous support of people like you. But we also see youth like Cindy and wish we could have gotten to them sooner.
With your support we can reach more students like Cindy before it’s too late.
For $92, you can bring crucial literacy skills to one additional student through CORP.
In turn, students will have the opportunity to develop a lifelong love of learning, unlock their potential, and ultimately overcome poverty. Will you donate $92 and change the life of one child?
This holiday season, we remain humbled by the kindness you show to young people like Cindy. Through your ongoing support, you open the doors of opportunity for thousands of students. Thank you in advance for your continued generosity.
Joe and Jeff Berninger
P.S. Please consider setting up a monthly donation at www.cooperativeforeducation.org/donate. A gift of only $7.66 per month will support the education of one child in the Culture of Reading Program ($92/year) and transform that student’s life forever.