We have greatly enjoyed meeting with students our scholarships support, along with some of their parents. We’ve had several opportunities to talk with them at length and do some brief video interviews. We also got to read personal essays students submitted for a writing contest we co-sponsored. On this page you’ll find some things we’d like to share.
“It’s a really important thing that you are helping us, because our parents work in the fields and the scholarship helps us buy school supplies so that our families still have money for food and similar necessities.”
Cindy has received an Opportunity Tree scholarship since we started in 2011 and is happy that she will graduate from secondary school when this academic year ends in December. She hopes to attend university to study communications or agricultural engineering. Cindy is full of curiosity about the world. She has loved the opportunities available to her in high school, including participating in the science fair and creating an exhibit on local herbal medicines.
“In my community, it’s important to have a doctor. But we don’t have one. We have serious illnesses, such as dengue fever, chikungunya, and different types of fevers. My hope is to open a medical office with a laboratory. I believe that if young people have an opportunity to study, we should take advantage of it! It’s such a good way to move forward and to help our country.”
Axel is a 10th grader whose favorite subjects are biology and natural sciences. After high school, he hopes to study medicine in the university city of Leon, with the goal of returning to the mountains of Matagalpa to provide medical services to the communities where he grew up. His family is supportive of him, but he’s aware of many young people who lack parental support and are unable to stay in school.
“I used to study Monday through Friday, but because I work, I am now studying on Saturdays. It’s harder that way because we have such a heavy load of requirements and have to learn everything so fast. My family is very supportive of me and I am grateful to have opportunities that will improve my life and help my family. I am very committed to doing whatever it takes to achieve my dreams.”
Rachel is a university student who lives with her aunts in the town of El Tuma in order to continue her education. She is studying public accounting and her dream is to one day be a manager at a bank. Rachel is learning computer skills, accounting techniques, and career-specific communication skills. Her aunts support themselves by making and selling tortillas. We’re proud that Rachel got her first scholarship from Opportunity Tree when we started in 2011. It enabled her to start and finish high school, and now her scholarship has carried her forward to the university level.
Junior’s family grows corn, beans, and bananas. He wants to stay in school and become an agricultural engineer when he grows up so he can help his family produce more crops to sell outside of their village.
Junior is a 4th grader who lives in the small community of San Joaquin. He loves to read. Though there are books in his two-room elementary school, they are workbooks rather than storybooks. Junior’s favorite subject is Spanish. His school curriculum also includes natural science, social science, math, and civics.
“I thank God for connecting me with people who have given their support to make these scholarships possible for students here in my village. We will climb mountains to find opportunities that define our destinies.”
Ariel is a recent university graduate in journalism. He worked very hard for his education – walking 2 hours to get to and from elementary school each day. He worried he wouldn’t be able to pursue higher education. But his friend Santiago, an alumnus of the Opportunity Tree scholarship program, gave him hope. Ariel was awarded an Opportunity Tree scholarship in 2012, which enabled him to study journalism and also to participate in scholarship-related youth service work. He had a memorable experience volunteering with a radio program that explored issues ranging from climate change to reproductive health. Ariel now works in his chosen field as a journalist.