by Mark Ely
Until now it was unthinkable that a young woman from Lemoa, Guatemala could graduate from university with a bachelor's degree. History was made this month when Sebastiana Gonzales did just that. Not only is she the first Pura Vida scholarship student to get to this point, but she also the first resident of Lemoa to do so.
Sebastiana was selected for a Pura Vida scholarship as a 6th grader in the Lemoa public school in 2003. Since then she has thrived academically, finishing her associate's and bachelor's degrees with excellent grades. She currently teaches math at the John Wesley School and is part of the local Pura Vida staff. With her new degree she will be able to teach mathematics and physics at the university level.
Sebastiana is a big believer in paying it forward. She recently told us "What we want is for the community to progress. Not just the families benefiting from the scholarship program, but all families."
She practices what she preaches. She has taken on ground-breaking responsibilities as the first female among our 8 scholarship program community leaders. She also tutors our students and coordinates our annual milk distribution in Lemoa.
Now, thanks to committed sponsors, we have 28 other students attending university. We hope that this number will continue to grow, and that the graduates will make a beneficial impact on their communities.
[ University sponsorship program details ]