Maria – or Lupita, as many of her close friends call her – grew up in the Álvaro Obregón Barrio of Mexico City with her mother, father and younger brother. Maria attended Christel House Mexico for 10 years. As a child, she was quiet, but flourished during her years at Christel House, working hard at her studies and becoming fluent in English. As a teenager, she worked as a nanny and a waitress to help support her family, at times making only $1.50/hour.
Maria is now part of Christel House Mexico’s Work-Study program. She will be a junior this August, and is majoring in finance. Her dream is to one day own her own business and travel the world. “I have visions of growing professionally and meetings all my goals” she says. This summer, Maria will intern in the accounting department at I.C.E. Inc. in Scottsdale, AZ. She sees this opportunity as “one step toward having a great future.”
Christel House WORKS – and Maria is an outstanding example. She did not let poverty define her. It is because of the generosity of Christel House champions, like you, that Maria’s story is possible. Thank you for your continued support of ‘Educate a Mexico Girl-Child from the Barrios.’ You are helping to transform lives.
Maria “Fernanda” is a small ten year old girl with beautiful and expressive eyes. She is a very outgoing student, always telling jokes and making her friends laugh and smile – even in the tough moments.
Fernanda lives with her mother, father and two sisters. Her father is an alcoholic and her mother is unable to work because she spends most of her time caring for Fernanda’s little sister, Natalia, who suffers from dwarfism.
Fernanda has attended Christel House since she was in the 1st grade. Since joining the school, Fernanda’s teachers have seen a notable improvement in her efforts and academic performance. She is now a member of the school choir and is a part of the writers program where she produced an original book.
She greatly appreciates the kindness of her Christel House teachers, but has a particular bond with Miss Ingrid, the psychologist. “She showed me how special life is and how to control my emotions.”
When Fernanda grows up, she wants to be a comedian or a doctor in order to help her sister. “I want to be a comedian and artist, also a writer. I have it in my veins. I love making people laugh because in my house we are really funny.”
Because of supporters like you, Christel House is a place that girls, like Fernanda, can truly reach their potential. “In Christel House they taught me how to climb the mountain of success and I´m not going to get off of it.”
BECAUSE OF YOU. . .
Since 2008, every single child who has attended Christel House Mexico through 9th grade passed the exam necessary to continue high school studies.
Only about half of Mexico’s children finish 9th grade—and of those who do, half perform at the “insufficient” level on standardized testing.
Your support is making a difference. Thank you for helping in this transformative work. Christel House Founder, Christel DeHaan and Christel House students wanted to share their appreciation. Click here to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G67eDmda0F0
We hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season. Thank you for considering Christel House in your year-end giving.
Your generosity to the children of Christel House Mexico has made a significant difference in many lives. I’d like to take a moment to tell you how.
A few weeks ago, I stepped off a plane into the summer air of Mexico City to see the incredible work accomplished by our 450 students there. Testimonials and videos from afar pale in comparison to what I witnessed in person: students with bright smiles genuinely eager to learn, asking and answering questions with enthusiasm.
Later in my trip, I visited the neighborhood slums that our children call home, and realized just how difficult life is for these students. But, at Christel House, I was surrounded by inspiration. It was hope that I felt.
One student in particular, Azul, captured my attention. She is a shy sixth grader whose parents sell balloons to support the family, earning about $270 per month.
Azul climbs 150 steps each morning before she jumps on a public bus for an hour-long journey to Christel House. It is easy to see the pride she takes in her schoolwork. I learned about her dream to become a chef and take care of her parents, two younger sisters, a cousin, aunt, and grandmother—all of whom live under the same roof. Here was a child who had so little yet wanted to give to others.
For 15 years, Christel House Mexico has been providing kids with more than an education. We’ve offered a safe haven for children determined to escape the poverty that overwhelms their families. These students run toward the school each day with dreams and goals, determined to make a better life.
I’d like to ask you to please share Azul’s story with your friends and family so that they too will know that there is a child, living in difficult circumstances—working to change their future. Above is a photo of Azul and her sister Akira. The image reminds me to do what I can to lift others up. Please join me in doing the same.
Many thanks in advance for your help,
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