Apr 6, 2017

Four 2016 Academic Superstars in San Ramon, Costa Rica

CAA Academic Excellence Award for 2016(1)
CAA Academic Excellence Award for 2016(1)

In late January, CAA presented our scholarship students with their first term scholarship vouchers, and cheered them on for another successful year in class. Having graduated our first scholarship student from high school last December, we have re-focused on the remaining students ranging from 4th through 10th grades.

This year, we identified 4 students for academic excellence awards – all young women. These four young ladies, two are in the 6th grade, one in the 7th,grade, and one in the 8th grade, achieved straight A report card scores for 2016 demonstrating their focus on education.  Although these young women are challenged by the lack of family financial resources, they are truly committed to preparing themselves for the opportunity for a better future through educational success. Given that most of these student’s parents did not even finish 6th grade, achieving straight A report cards is even more significant!

Our CAA team hopes that these special academic recognitions will encourage some of the other students to try just a bit harder in 2017 to join this elite group. One young man in elementary school came up after the special awards and exclaimed that he too had good grades - he made 2-B’s and the rest A’s, and hoped that was sufficient to be able to join the four young ladies. We counseled him that perhaps he could focus a little extra attention to those 2 subjects this year, and indeed, he might be able to become the first young man to be recognized for straight A’s in next year’s awards! 

And, we have counseling sessions scheduled in April with the parents, students, and their teachers to make sure that those that have struggled with subjects last year, are regaining their focus on studies in 2017.

Our team also encouraged the high school students to make a commitment to volunteerism - to make time to help others this year. To encourage this volunteerism, we announced that next year, we will present a special Volunteer Recognition Award.  It is important for these young students, who are being assisted by the generosity and concern of others, to recognize that they too can give back to others less fortunate or in need. 

In this first school term, CAA presented scholarship vouchers totaling almost $3500 -- this critical educational assistance would not have been possible without your support.

We are proud of all of our scholarship students and are working hard to give them the help they need to succeed. We want to recognize and thank all of our supporting Global Giving donors and our CAA volunteers in Costa Rica for helping to achieve this success.  

CAA Academic Excellence Award for 2016(2)
CAA Academic Excellence Award for 2016(2)
CAA Academic Excellence Award for 2016(3)
CAA Academic Excellence Award for 2016(3)
CAA Academic Excellence Award for 2016(4)
CAA Academic Excellence Award for 2016(4)
Mar 24, 2017

Thank you for you support

In his forever home
In his forever home

The San Ramon area continues to benefit from your support for the spay and neuter programs.  Additionally, we continue to help the homeless dogs find foster and forever homes.  Just yesterday I heard the story of a dog that had been abandoned by its owners, left behind to fend for himself when the owners moved.  The dog was near death due to complications from the tick-borne disease ehrlichiosis.  A foster family diligently nursed him back to health, and he was successfully placed in his forever home.

This is just one of hundreds of similar stories that reach their happy ending due to your generosity and the loving attention of volunteers.

Jan 9, 2017

It Takes a Village!

CAA Student Workshop - Values and Volunteerism
CAA Student Workshop - Values and Volunteerism

Nothing excited our 23 scholarship students more in early December than finishing the term and focusing on Christmas holidays with a 2 month break from school. For a number of these students, Chirstmas vacation included a daily ritutual of helping the family pick coffee in the mountians all around San Ramon, not exactly a vacation. But, first we thought it important that students and their families reflect on the academic achievements and challenges of the past year, and to identify the necessary steps to exceed those academic levels in the coming year.  To accomplish this, we organized a half-day counseling and workshop for December 10th aimed to keep these students focused on continued growth in 2017.

With the help of our 5 volunteer university social workers, and under the direction of our licensed volunteer social worker, JF, we sat down with the mothers or fathers of the scholarship students to review last year's grades hoping to identify academic, attendance, conduct, or special need issues that we could help improve.  While the parent interviews were being conducted, University of Costa Rica 3rd-4th year social worker students engaged the scholarship students in a workshop emphasizing the importance of Positive Values and Giving Back through Volunteerism.

For some parents, this discussion was the first focused review and discussion of their child's academic record, and it allowed for a candid discussion with trained social workers about their child's progress. In some cases, the parent had not even reviewed the grades much less discussed them with the child! These interviews identified 3 students that will require closer monitoring and family intervention during the next school term - to change behaviors that are impacting academic progress.  And, we identified 2 others with vision problems that need special eyeglasses.

In the case of one very athletic high school student whose grades had fallen over the second term of 2016, the interview identified that the student had been misinformed by other students that he would be able to get a university scholarship based solely on his athletic strengths, and it didn't really matter about his mediocre academic record.  After a prolonged discussion with JF, a social worker and a former university admissions and financial assistance advisor, the student and his mother came to understand that without a strong academic record, even a good athlete would not hope to get into Costa Rica's public universities, much less get government financial assistance.   Hopefully, this discussion, and some first term scheduled follow-up counseling sessions in March and April, will enable this student to refocus on both his academics and his athletics and get back on course in 2017. 

With the help of some capable volunteers, the CAA Education Committee applauded the academic success of the vast majority of our students, and identified 3 students that will require closer monitoring of progress to get back on course.

It really does take a village to successfully raise and educate a child - and without these dedicated social worker volunteers and your financial help through Global Giving, some of these students would slip through the cracks and drop out of school.  We send our special thanks to all of you who continue to be members of our extended village! 

 

 

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.