Carrie and Lilly Schmidt

Remember Berta Alicia, the girl who simply refused to give up on her dreams? As with every CoEd scholarship student, her path to success was paved by a key player in her life: her sponsor.

Nearly a decade ago, Carrie Schmidt decided to adopt a child from Guatemala. After a year-long process that involved four separate trips to the country, endless paperwork, and the typical emotional roller coaster that comes with the adoption process, she finally brought her daughter, Lilly, home. Lilly’s birth mother was young, uneducated, and living in poverty—not unlike the girls in CoEd’s Scholarship and Youth Development Program.

Carrie began looking for a way to honor Lilly’s birth mother, and when she came across CoEd, she knew she had found the right fit. What better way to say thank you than by helping another girl stay in school and avoid the suffering that Lilly’s birth mother had experienced?

The young girl Carrie sponsored was none other than (drum roll, please) Berta Alicia herself. Haven’t read Berta Alicia’s story yet? Go ahead, we’ll wait. Done yet? How about now? Impressive, right?

After hearing about her former student’s success, Carrie said, “I am so thrilled to hear how well Berta Alicia has done. And I am so impressed by the perseverance, determination, and grit she has demonstrated in passing that English exam. I would like to think I am as committed to my goals, but I honestly don’t know that I could have accomplished what she has done.”

Well, Carrie, we think you’ve accomplished a lot! In addition to adopting Lilly and providing Berta Alicia with an education and a path out of poverty, Carrie has written the children of Guatemala into her will. By making a planned gift as a member of CoEd’s Legacy Society, the work Carrie has started as a CoEd donor will live on past her own lifetime. The challenge of breaking the cycle of poverty through education will take more than a generation to solve and the generosity of Carrie and other Legacy Society members ensures it will continue until there are no more girls like Lilly’s birth mother growing up without opportunities.

On behalf of Berta Alicia and the countless other students in Guatemala, we want to say THANK YOU to Carrie, and all our Legacy Society members. YOU will change lives for generations to come.

Interested in including the children of Guatemala in your will or estate plans? Read more here about leaving a legacy that will endure for generations.