Driven. Determined. Persistent. These are just a few of the amazing qualities that students in CoEd’s Rise Program possess. After all, you have to be pretty determined to even make it to middle school in rural Guatemala where more than 6 out of 10 kids don’t make it past primary school.
The Rise Program provides a way for these determined students to overcome the many challenges they face in completing middle and high school. Not only that, the program also helps students grow their natural gifts, making them forces to be reckoned with after graduation!
One stellar example is Rise scholar, Yoselyn!
All too often, students’ determination and dreams have deeply personal roots. For Yoselyn, who lives with her parents and five remaining siblings in the rural town of Santa Lucía, her dream of becoming a doctor stems from her family’s heart-wrenching history. Two of Yoselyn’s brothers passed away in tragic accidents. Now, Yoselyn says, “I want to save many people’s lives. I won’t let them die.”
Yoselyn is determined to make a difference in her community but her family doesn’t have the resources to keep her on this path. Her dad never went to school and now works in construction. Her mom—who had to drop out of school after third grade—works trimming peas. They can’t afford to provide a very safe environment for their children right now, but Yoselyn is not giving up. And her parents know that education is the path to a better life for their daughter. They always encourage her in her studies and make sure she turns in her homework. Yoselyn knows that, thanks to this support from both of her parents, she already has it easier than many of her peers in the Rise Program.
As a Rise scholar, Yoselyn now has the financial support she needs to cover her tuition, class fees, uniforms, and school supplies costs.
But wait, there’s more!
The Rise Program also provides her with support services and developmental resources to support her outside of the classroom. In particular, each community in the Rise Program has a local facilitator who acts as the front-line support for the students in the program—whether it’s helping with academic struggles, social pressures, or a number of other risk factors that they might be facing. The local facilitators also run the workshops and youth development activities for the students. The full range of resources the Rise Program provides includes:
- Youth Development workshops to build leadership, professional, and life skills
- Community service activities to give back to the community
- Field trips and visits to local businesses to prepare for a career
- Home visits to engage the whole family in their student’s educational experience
- Mentoring and tutoring to improve academic performance
In one of the Rise Program workshops, Yoselyn and her classmates addressed the topic of gender inequality, putting on a play about how machista culture and gender inequality appears in their families. Yoselyn played the part of a daughter who insists to her father that she has the right to go to school even though she’s a girl, and she played the role with exceptional passion. After the play, she told CoEd staff how strongly she feels about this issue and how thankful she is that her parents support her and not just her brother.
In spite of the fact that life has not been easy, Yoselyn is determined to build a better life not only for her family, but for others in her country in need of medical care. Thanks to the Rise Youth Development Program and the generous supporters and sponsors who make the program possible, she can continue pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor.
Yoselyn has been sponsored since she joined the Rise Program in the 7th grade and to her sponsors she says, “Thank you so much for sponsoring me. I hope you’ll always keep supporting me in the good times and in the bad times.”
Ready to support a student like Yoselyn?