Today’s Determination Builds Tomorrow’s Doctora
In this new year, we give thanks for your support and are pleased to highlight the challenges and successes of one of our new scholarship students, a determined young woman, who we will call “Mariela”. We give thanks to the drive and determination that this young woman demonstrates to her academics – and it is our good fortune to be able to meet her and help support her education.
“Mariela” is 14 years old and has just completed her 7th grade courses at a Colegio (high school) in San Ramon, Costa Rica. The transition from elementary school into 7th grade in high school has been challenging for her, as it is for most students when moving into a larger student population where distractions are everywhere, courses are more rigorous, and the expectations are high.
However, “Mariela” entered the CAA scholarship program in 2017 based on a nomination from the high school that she needed assistance. ” Mariela” has been especially challenged because she is managing the transition to high school while dealing with two serious medial conditions: a heart defect that required surgery a few years ago, and a chronic immune system condition, systematic Lupus (erythematosus). Her symptoms of fatigue, fever, weight loss, arthritis, and skin lesions were diagnosed as Lupus in 2010, and “Mariela” struggled to maintain her focus on her studies while enduring the many symptoms of the condition. With the support of her mother, a single parent, “Mariela” has persevered to achieve an 84.3 grade point average for the 2017 school year, only 1.7 points lower than her 6th grade average.
“Mariela’s” academic grades, while not as high as she would like, are remarkable. When diagnosed with Lupus, her doctors advised her to withdraw from regular classes in school because of the care and absences that would be required to manage her disease. Despite the doctor’s recommendations, “Mariela” has chosen to stay in regular classes rather than move into an alternate curriculum track. And, despite the challenges of her condition, “Mariela” is maintaining good grades, and is looking forward to the Christmas holidays, and the 2018 school year. “Mariela” has set her future career goals high – she hopes to be able to earn the grades to allow her to enter university and a Doctora of Forensic Medicine.
This student needs our help to continue with her studies and fulfill her dreams. “Mariela”s experience is but one example of the power of education to change lives, to provide direction when otherwise challenged, and to channel the motivation of this very determined young women to dream forward to a more secure future.
The support of our generous donors through Education Equals Hope, Inc., and our volunteers and donors in Costa Rica, makes it possible for us to assist this delightful and focused young student, and 23 others who hope to follow the path of education to lead them out of poverty.
Story facts provided by: Yuliana Vasquez Pacheco, University Scholarship Intern; Authored by Scott McAnally, Chair, Education Committee, Community Action Alliance