Many of you have been praying for Angelica as she has gone through the scholarship process. Here is her story in her own words: “I grew up in a small village near the capital city of Tegucigalpa where my family still lives. My father died when I was four years old leaving my mom to raise me alone. My mother is not wealthy or educated and family didn’t have enough resources to send me to a good school so I attended a public school where the opportunities for me were very few. I had the desire to learn more but my teachers didn’t have enough time for me. They had to help other students that had academic problems. It was time for me to attend seventh grade but my school only offered classes from first through sixth grade and I needed to figure out a place to study to continue learning. It also was hard financially to attend a public high school; however, that was my only option. I didn’t like this idea and sometimes it made me cry. I wanted to learn a new language and attend a school where I could be challenged intellectually.
My mother’s boss came up with the plan to send me to Gracias to learn English. He looked for a way to provide me with the education I dreamed of and her company, Enlace, gave me a scholarship. My dream became true. I moved to Gracias in January 2009, leaving my family at age 13. It was very hard for me to leave my mom. I came to a place I didn’t know and to live with people I had never seen before. Fortunately, my younger sister received the same scholarship as I did and came with me. I had to become independent because of the circumstances. I had to take care of my sister and to make decisions for both of us. I remember that we cried every night at first but the desire to become someone different through education kept me moving. The only reason I know English and have an education today is because Enlace gave us this life-changing opportunity.
I give my best because I know what a privilege education is. I study every night and put forward my best effort in every assignment.”
Did you catch that? “I give my best because I now what a privilege education is.” Regardless of whether she wins this scholarship, I am so proud of how hard she has worked, the hours she has put into every step and her desire to better because of the opportunities she has been given.
A side note for those of you not familiar with the Sam Walton International Scholarship, this is a highly competitive scholarship offered here in Central America. About 400 students from Honduras apply each year. After 4 rounds including two in-person interviews, this is narrowed down to about 10 students who receive it. It is a full, four year scholarship to one of three private universities in Arkansas. Angelica has now made it through all four rounds and is waiting to hear whether she will receive a scholarship.