It's the first day of school this week for our youngest Mariposas! The opening of the public school in our town is delayed for an entire month due to construction, but thanks to you, our girls will not miss a day. For two years our scholarship program has consisted of sending all of our high school students to CADIN, a private school in the neighboring town of Islabon. This year we were able to expand the program and send 100 girls to three of our partner schools, CORAL, CADIN and 3 Mariposas Montessori.
We invest a tremendous amount of resources in sending our girls to private schools because we want them to have access to the best educational opportunities available. In the public school system, the classrooms are overcrowded and there are not enough teachers and staff to give each child the individual and small group attention they need and deserve. Girls are even more likely to get lost and fall through the cracks. By establishing partnerships with smaller, private institutions, we can provide each and every one of our girls with a higher quality education, more individual attention and instill them with pride.
At CORAL there are currently 225 students in K-9th grade of which 70 are Mariposa girls. Because we make up 30% of the student body, it has been beneficial for both the girls and the school to form a working partnership with the director to ensure that our girls are getting the support they need to achieve success. Not to mention, the parents of our girls are absolutely thrilled! Herodita, mother and aunt to three girls who are receiving scholarships to CORAL in the Mariposa program says, "I dropped out of school and never learned to read. I worry because I can't help them and I am afraid they will drop out too. With Mariposa, the girls in my family have the extra support and I know they will do much better".
Summer is coming to an end and we are so excited to kick off what is sure to be a great school year! Giving 100 girls the opportunity to go to private school is only possible because of thoughtful, generous people like you and we can't thank you enough for your ongoing support. We look forward to updating you on their progress soon.
The girls, families, volunteers and staff at The Mariposa DR Foundation
We are thrilled to present to you our very first "graduates" of Unleash the Leader in a Girl. For the past few years, these girls have attended consistently, worked hard and grown into shining examples of what we believe Mariposa girls should be. We are often asked the question - what does success look like? Or, when do girls graduate from Mariposa? What kind of assistance will they recieve after they phase out of the day to day programs? What makes our program unique is that we treat each participant as an individual and help them develop personal goals. Success is different for each and every girl. While our graduates will no longer attend daily programs at the Center, they will always have trusted advisors and a strong network of support at Mariposa. Many of them will stay involved as part time employees and/or mentors to the younger girls coming up in the program. Below we are pleased to share some brief details on the class of 2014!
Elisa, 18 years old, is a scholarship recipient at Cadin, a private school in town. She is very active in sports and takes Jiujitsu classes 4 times a week at a local studio. She has taken a course to be a waitress, and will be applying for a yoga teacher training course in the fall. She has completed a water safety course and will form part of our surf group this summer.
Rosa Lourdes, 17 years old, will be graduating this year from high school. This last semester she finished a sewing apprenticeship with Sherry Herdman, our sewing volunteer. As an apprentice, she taught several other mariposa girls the basics of sewing. During our camp this summer, she will be teaching how to sew quilted pot holders to some of our more advanced sewers. She is interested in finding a part time job as a seamstress, while she studies to become a pediatrician.
Edileysa, 17 years old, will be graduating this year from high school. She is currently in the process of applying to medical school. Her goal is to become a pediatrician and work in a public hospital, where she can best treat the needs of her community. She is currently working as our on site secretary at The Mariposa Center for Girls, and learning basic computer skills that will help her to achieve her goals. We hope that she stays working with us part time as she continues her studies. She is also actively involved in water sports and kitesurfs regularly. She too, has completed a water safety course and will form part of our surf group this summer.
María Inés, 17 years old, will be graduating from high school this year. Maria Ines has found a part time job working at a local coffee shop, where she has proven to be an exemplary employee. Due to her new job, her English skills have improved, which will help her to achieve her ultimate goal, to become a flight attendant.
Ana Iris, 18 years old, will be graduating from high school next year. She currently works at The Mariposa Center for Girls full time as part of the kitchen and cleaning staff. She has proven to be a responsible, reliable team member at Mariposa and is extremely flexible in helping us with programs for the younger girls when needed. Her perspective as both an employee and an active Mariposa program participant is fundamental in understanding the needs of our older girls.
Ingrid García. 20 years old, is in her junior year at a local high school. She is interested in going to beauty school and her goal is to open up a small salon near her home. She is currently employed as a nanny.
Mabreidy Martinez, 17 years old. Mabreidy had a baby recently, but that has not stopped her to continue her studies. Throughout her years as a Mariposa, she has actively participated in water sports. She served as our summer life guard assistant during camp last year, and is an avid surfer and kitesurfer. She is currently working as a nanny and will be starting her summer job working at a kite school in town.
Because of your support we were able to treat our graduates to a very special trip! On May 6th we traveled to Santo Domingo to celebrate literature and the arts at the 17th Annual Book Fair. The girls went home with books, saw a Guloys theatre production in the national theatre, listened to a "conscious rap" performance and visted the pavillion dedicated to the late Dede Mirabal. For some of them this was their first time in the capital and first night being away from home! It was a spectacular adventure for these girls and it would not have been possible without your generosity.
We look forward to sending you more exciting updates from the field as we gear up for summer!
With love and gratitude,
Over the past few months our Mariposa girls have been involved in numerous experiential learning opportunities and job skill training workshops. The 25 oldest Mariposas, ages 14 and up have been participating in intensive job readiness and computer skills workshops. The goal is to use experiential learning methods to introduce girls to the knowledge, language, and skills they need to enter the job fields available to them and get them excited about finding work. The program has gotten off to an extremely successful start with more than one-fifth of the girls already steadily employed!
Yanaira is 15 years old, a full-time high school student, and is employed by one of our partner organizations, 3 Mariposas Montessori, a local bi-lingual preschool. "It is my dream to become a teacher and Mariposa is supporting me to achieve it. I love my work and it makes me happy to be able to contribute to my family," says Yanaira.
At The Mariposa Center for Girls we have three high school girls that are employed. Fernanda and Edileisa are developing their administrative skills as office assistants in our main reception area and Ana Iris is learning all about property maintenence and custodial management. Ana Iris who is 17 and lives on her own says "At Mariposa I like that I can stay in school, have the opportunity to learn new things like dance and art, but I also have a job where I can earn the money I need to support myself." Ana Iris is responsible for maintaining cleaning supply inventory at The Mariposa Center for Girls and making purchases for all cleaning supplies and coordinating additional maintenence staff.
This semester we also piloted a waitressing and hospitality course so that some of the girls could begin to explore employment opportunities in the tourism industry. For two months our girls trained as professional waitresses and were able to show off their skills to their guests at The Mariposa Center for Girls Inauguration Gala on February 8th.
Because of your support, our experietial learning and job training programs are enabling the Mariposa girls to explore opportunities that they can get excited about, keeping them motivated to stay in school and empowered to take charge of their futures. As each of our girls learn and grow we will continue to support them on their individual paths to becoming independent women and changing the course for future generations of their families.
Thank you all so much for your continued support and dedication to the girls of the Mariposa DR Foundation.
The staff, volunteers, and children of the Mariposa DR Foundation
It's been a very exciting fall here at The Mariposa DR Foundation. Because of your support we have been able to provide tuition scholarships, uniforms, books and supplies to all of our high school age girls! For the 2013-2014 academic year we have enrolled 16 girls in Cadin, a local Dominican private school, run by long time community leader and educator, Flavia Vidal. There are no day time high school programs in the town of Cabarete where we live so we provide transportation and resources to get our girls to our neighboring town of Islabon so that they can succesfully continue their education.
As a pioneer for education for poor children in her small, rural town, Cadin Director, Flavia Vidal, is thrilled to welcome the Mariposa Girls to her school. For more than 20 years, Flavia has worked tirelessly to provide quality education to children in her community. After seeing many girls slip through the cracks, drop out and get pregnant, she knows how critical it is to keep girls in school. Flavia is personally committed to the success of the Mariposa girls and we are grateful for her leadership and support. The Mariposa DR Foundation is also committed to making sure that Flavia has the resources she needs at her school to ensure that all the children at Cadin have access to quality education. This is just one of the ways that we form strong partnerships with great organizations and schools in our community, weaving a tight web of support for our girls that will enable them to succeed.
When girls are given the opportunity to pursue more education, this brings well demonstrated benefits for them and related benefits for the whole society. Girls with higher levels of education on average marry later, have smaller families, are more likely to survive childbirth and experience reduced incidences of HIV/AIDS.
These girls are the most effective means for ending generational poverty and we have you to thank for ensuring that our Mariposa girls have a bright academic future.
Summer is here and we are excited to update you on the success of our job skills training program for Mariposas ages 15 and up! We have been working hard to expose the girls to many career and job opportunities in the local community so that they can plan for their future. Throughout the recent school year, the 25 oldest Mariposas participated in mobile job fairs, career days and field trips throughout the community to learn about employment possibilities.
To date we have placed 10 girls in part time jobs at kite schools, coffee shops, hotels, schools, and at The Mariposa DR Foundation! In addition to specific vocational training, our girls have developed skills in areas such as work ethic, self-confidence and professionalism.
Unleash the Leader in a Girl contains community, educational and professional components to address the challenges young girls face, and improve their social and economic conditions. For boys, adolescence means independence, for girls it often means isolation as they have more household responsibilities than boys, making it harder for them to find gainful employment outside of the home. Providing girls with the tools they need to become economically empowered women is absolutely critical.
We thank you for your continued support of this project and look forward to updating you with more success stories soon!
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