As Director of the Hispanic Youth Institute, better known as HYS, I remember watching hundreds of high school students every year assemble in ¨familias¨ and walk across a stage to receive a simple recognition from the Hispanic College Fund. Participating in HYS profoundly affected each student and transformed all of us who formed part of the experience. HYS served as the foundation on which students built a pathway to a brighter future through higher education, mentoring and career development.
I am now the Executive Director of our ministry; a start-up non profit organization located in Nicaragua that has designed an innovative educational program based on the Montessori method of learning emphasizing on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child´s natural psychological, physical and social development. We have combined nutrition, education, and capacity building for community leaders and teachers. Through the committed efforts of our staff and volunteers, we will help children and their communities develop the skills needed to break the generational poverty cycle.
In Nicaragua, 44% of the population struggles to live on less than $2 (US) a day and since 53 per cent of the total population is under the age of 18, breaking the poverty cycle has been a slow and overwhelming job. The quality of primary education is deficient and though enrollment rates have increased in the last 12 years, graduation rates are less than ¼ of the enrollment rate. Children, teachers and parents are ill prepared to face the day-to-day challenges of the 21st century.
In phase I of the program, a dedicated group of volunteer psychologists will help us with the selection process and volunteer nurses will help run a series of workshops for adults focusing on health, nutrition and abuse. But, we need to raise $125,000 by January 5th, 2013 to kick start the program. Your tax deductible donation of $10, $50 or $100 will help Feed, Educate, Empower and Love over 1,000 life’s starting this New Year!
Please donate and if you have a chance…watch the video link below. Thank you.