Vilma Chanchavac is the seventh of eight children. Over the years, she has seen her siblings succeed, and she has seen them fail. Coming from a financially unstable family, three of her older siblings followed in her parents’ footsteps and dropped out of school after the sixth grade. They struggle every day to survive, mired in poverty.

The other three siblings were able to overcome their economic barriers and stay in school, becoming nurses and an industrial mechanic. They are all from one family, but education has led them down two very different paths.

Vilma and her family

Vilma (second from the right) with some members of her family

Thanks to Cooperative for Education (CoEd), Vilma is on the path of education, knowledge, and success. CoEd recently installed a Computer Center at her school, La Colina, and Vilma could not be happier. “I love the computers, and the new lab has totally changed our technology classes,” she says. Before, they used outdated equipment, and the computer teacher did not understand the material well enough to teach them anything useful. Vilma explains, “She would just have us make drawings on the computer for the entire class period.”

Now that Vilma’s teacher has been trained by CoEd, her teaching methods have been completely transformed. Vilma recognizes the drastic improvement, saying, “In the first month of class, we have already learned how to write letters, make PowerPoint presentations, use Excel, and do basic programming.”

Vilma is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming an auditor thanks to YOUR support!

Vilma is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming an auditor thanks to YOUR support!

Math comes naturally to Vilma, and she hopes to become an auditor someday. Now that she is gaining invaluable knowledge and skills that she will use every day in a professional setting, her dream is finally within reach. CoEd has provided her and her classmates with superior technology and instruction, but more importantly, with the tools to keep reaching for the previously unattainable. A completely new world has opened up for Vilma; she will now be qualified for jobs and opportunities that would be inconceivable if she had never learned how to use technology.

Keeping Vilma in school is a financial strain on the family, but they see the high quality education she is receiving and know it is worth the sacrifice. Her mother Florencia says, “Finding the money to pay for school supplies is a constant struggle, but we have to keep fighting because without a good education, you can’t find work anywhere anymore.” First in her class, Vilma always works hard, pushing herself to read more, to study more, to achieve more. She has seen both sides of what life has to offer, and she is determined to make the most out of her time in school.


Clearly excited about the new computer skills she is learning, Vilma says, “We recently learned how to create formulas in a spreadsheet. This is exactly the type of knowledge I need to succeed as an auditor!” Her older sister Maria, who dropped out of school, chuckles in disbelief and amazement when she hears Vilma. She exclaims, “I don’t even know how to turn a computer on!”

One family. Two different paths. YOUR support has set Vilma soundly on the right path—the path to success.