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!
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