Clarissa is a GlobalGiving In-the-Field Volunteer. She is visiting GlobalGiving's projects in South America and writing postcards to donors to let them know how their donations are having an impact. Read other postcards from the field here: http://www.globalgiving.org/inthefield/.
The numbers are staggering: Fifty percent of students in Argentina do not graduate from high school, and 25 percent of 18 to 24 year olds do not go to school or work! Even with a desire to learn, children are often robbed of the opportunity to attend school due to outside factors such as money, location, and access. If not for the work of Cimientos, a non-profit focused on improving Argentina’s education system, many of these children would simply become another sad statistic. Over the past 13 years, Cimientos has helped over 80 thousand underserved Argentine high school students stay in school, receive quality education, and access the opportunities they need to succeed. They have proven successful due to their hands on approach and ability to understand the varying needs of each child and each community. Ranging from economic support to personalized monitoring to exchange opportunities, Cimientos has developed and implemented a series of innovative programs to keep kids in school. To ensure children’s ongoing success, they work closely with parents, families, teachers, principals, and community leaders, which aids in establishing a strong support system. The impact is clear and as the network of Cimientos graduates continues to grow, the organization is developing even more programs to help them succeed! I had the pleasure of meeting with three Cimientos representatives to learn about their newest program, the Graduates Network, and how GlobalGiving donors are helping thousands of high school graduates realize their passions and achieve their goals. Started two years ago, the Graduates Network was created in response to a growing need to help students understand that graduating high school was not the end of learning, but perhaps just the beginning. In the U.S. it is often understood that building a resume, establishing networks, and utilizing the internet to research opportunities are necessary to secure a job or attend university. These are skills we learn early and that are instilled in us by parents, teachers and peers. For a majority of students in Argentina, however, they are the first in their families to finish high school so they lack the knowhow and support needed to tackle future goals. As a result, Cimientos guidance is essential! The Graduate Network’s staff - which by the way is an absolutely amazing group of individuals- works tirelessly to host job training workshops, research scholarship opportunities, and connect graduates with their growing network of professional contacts. Due to the caliber of students taking part in Cimientos programs, businesses and universities throughout Argentina are even tapping into the Graduate Network’s pool of students to fill openings! The impact has been astounding and the proof is in the numbers – In the past year thousands of graduates received training to apply for employment or continue their education, 50 participants were granted scholarships to attend university, 28 students secured jobs, and over 300 new Cimientos high school graduates joined their peers in the Graduates Network. A stark contrast to Argentina’s norm and the success stories continue to pour in! But, continued funding for the Graduate Network is crucial to keep up this momentum and continue to improve Argentina’s education system. To read personal success stories from Graduate Network participants and learn how a donation can shape the lives of Argentine youth visit the Cimientos project page on GlobalGiving.org!
*versión en español a continuación
Dear Global Giving Friends,
We hope you have had a wonderful holiday season. Last year we worked hard to keep our New Years resolutions to help our graduates, meaning that in 2010:
Like us, was one of your New Years resolutions to do a good deed for someone else? Now you can! Help us keep our New Year’s resolutions for 2011 and keep yours to give back by supporting us or spreading the word to your friends today!
Thanks for making it possible for low income Argentine youth to get jobs and further their education this year!
María and Sarah – Cimientos Graduates Network Team
versión en español*Estimados amigos de Global Giving,
Esperamos que hayan tenido muy felices fiestas. El año pasado trabajamos intensamente para lograr nuestros objetivos del año y ayudar a nuestros egresados… Fue así como en 2010:
Como en nuestro caso, ¿alguna de tus metas de 2010 fue hacer alguna buena acción por otra persona? ¡Ahora podés! Ayudanos a cumplir nuestras metas para 2011 y cumplí las tuyas apoyándonos y difundiendo nuestro proyecto con tus amigos!
¡Gracias por hacer posible que jóvenes argentinos con bajos recursos consigan trabajos y tengan más y mejor educación!
María y Sarah – Equipo de la Red de Egresados de Cimientos
As this year comes to a close we would like to share with you the joy of having more than 400 Cimientos scholarship recipients graduate from high school and begin their participation in our Graduates Network.
This has been a year of many achievements and concrete results in our efforts to help program graduates find employment and/or further their studies.
We bid farewell with the hope that the next year will find us together once again, working to improve opportunities for underprivileged youth in Argentina. We would like to take this opportunity to share the words of Emilse, a recent graduate who, next year, will receive her degree as a Surgical Technician:
“When I began high school in 2005 I was selected along with others for a scholarship issued by Cimientos. The mentor that I had was very supportive, always listening and giving me advice. We shared many individual meetings as well as group meetings with other students where we could all support each other.
During those 3 years the scholarship helped me a great deal. I was able to buy school supplies, books, clothes, and shoes.
When I finished high school, the Cimientos Graduates Network gave me the opportunity to take a training course and helped me apply for a university scholarship. I am now finishing my second year of university thanks to the support and mentoring that I receive every month. I cannot express how grateful I am to the Cimientos Graduates Network and the foundation that now provides me with a scholarship.
Thanks to all of you, in one year I will graduate with a degree in something I like; but even more importantly, I will enjoy the results of refusing to give up, of rising to the challenge no matter the odds.
Simply, THANK YOU!”
Thank you for giving Emilse the chance to escape poverty and have a better future.
The Graduates Network
Para cerrar el año, queríamos compartir con ustedes la alegría de tener más de 400 jóvenes que acaban de finalizar la cursada del secundario y podrán participar de nuestra Red de Egresados.
Este fue un año de muchos logros y resultados en nuestro trabajo por favorecer la inserción laboral y educativa de nuestros egresados…
Nos despedimos, deseando que el próximo año nos encuentre juntos para seguir trabajando por los jóvenes de bajos recursos socioeconómicos de la Argentina y aprovechamos para compartir unas líneas que escribió Emilse, una de las egresadas que el próximo año recibirá su título como Instrumentadora Quirúrgica.
“Cuando comencé el colegio secundario en el año 2005 fui seleccionada junto a otros para una beca otorgada por la Fundación Cimientos.
La tutora que tuve fue un gran apoyo para mí, siempre me escuchaba y me aconsejaba. Compartimos muchos encuentros individuales y grupales con otros chicos donde nos ayudábamos entre todos.
Esos 3 años que recibí la beca me ayudaron mucho. Pude comprar los materiales para estudiar, los libros, la vestimenta y el calzado.
Cuando terminé el secundario la Red de Egresados de Cimientos me dio la oportunidad de realizar el curso de capacitación y me ayudó a gestionar una beca universitaria. Hoy estoy terminando de cursar 2º año gracias a al apoyo y acompañamiento que recibo todos los meses y estoy más que agradecida con la Red de Egresados de Cimientos y con la Fundación que hoy me otorga la beca.
Gracias a todos ellos en un año me voy a poder recibir de lo que me gusta pero, más que nada, voy a disfrutar los resultados de no haber bajado los brazos y seguir a pesar todo.
Gracias por darle la oportunidad a Emilse a salir de la pobreza y tener un futuro mejor.
Felices Fiestas para todos,
La Red de Egresados