Common Hope

Common Hope's mission is to promote hope and opportunity in Guatemala, partnering with children, families, and communities who want to participate in a process of development to improve their lives through programs in education, health care, and housing.
Dec 20, 2013

Maria Jose, a trailblazer with your support

Maria Jose
Maria Jose

We first shared about Maria Jose back in 2011 (http://bit.ly/190sLSJ) as someone who has been active in our youth programs. This fall, she graduated from high school, and we learned a bit more about her story and challenges along the way.

As the only girl studying to be a mechanic, Maria Jose has encountered a few extra hurdles. During her first year of high school, her classmates gave her a really hard time. They teased her a lot. But her teacher supported her completely, and she also found support in Common Hope’s youth groups, which she has attended for many years.

Maria Jose says she used to hang out with just her sister and one other friend at youth groups, but program leader Rigo challenged her to open up and get to know everyone. He told her, “One day, you’ll need other people.” Maria Jose took his advice, making new friends, and becoming very involved in the program. She even began giving motivational talks and trainings on Saturday mornings. “It’s so beautiful when your peers seek you out for advice,” she says. “You can’t be prideful in those moments. I’ve learned to be humble and friendly.”

Maria Jose graduated this fall and started a month-long internship with Common Hope’s mechanic after that. She is well on her way to a promising career in her chosen profession.

Your support makes it possible for students like Maria Jose to blaze new trails and succeed. We celebrated 156 graduates this year, each with their own challenges surpassed with the help our programs, which you make possible. Thank you!

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Sep 24, 2013

Nelson Avoids Dropping Out - And Lands a Great Job

Nelson at Graduation
Nelson at Graduation

Your support makes it possible for students like Nelson to surpass serious hurdles that could have caused them to drop out of school.

In tenth grade Nelson was struggling mightily to stay in school. It wasn’t that he didn’t have the aptitude—just a year before he had finished top of his class. But with growing commitments at work and other family challenges, Nelson had missed too much homework and class.

Nelson approached Flor, a member of our educational support staff, who advocated for him at school, explaining the difficulties causing him to get behind. Nelson was allowed to stay in school, and Flor continued to meet with him as he worked through his challenges.

Through hard work and the support of Common Hope, Nelson graduated in 2012. What's more, he got a great job this year, as a graphic designer with a printing company in Guatemala City. Nelson feels so grateful for his job, knowing how hard it is to find a good one.

Looking back, Nelson says he was overwhelmed by the support Common Hope’s support staff showed him. "They really believed in me," he says.

Thank you for make education possible for deserving students like Nelson. Your support funds the work of Flor and many others working hard each day to help students like Nelson to stay in school. For more stories and statistics from the past fiscal year, visit our recently-published Donor Impact Report for 2012: http://www.commonhope.org/donorimpact2012/

Jun 26, 2013

New Engineer Pays It Forward

Jaime
Jaime

Jaime Obando and his wife Laura recently sponsored a student, Dennis, who is working hard in school to create a better future for himself. When corresponding with Jaime about his sponsorship, we discovered something extra special about him: he used to be sponsored by Common Hope himself. Jaime's story is a great example of the difference that your support can make for impoverished Guatemalan youth, and the way you can create ripple effects long into the future.

With the help of Common Hope and supporters like you, Jaime was able to stay in school and get the support he needed to be successful. Through his hard work, he graduated from university in 2010 with a degree in engineering, and now he is the first former sponsored student to sponsor a student of his own.

For a long time, Jaime has striven to give back for the help he received. “I have always had this feeling inside of me,” he says, “wondering how I can return the education that I received from Common Hope. I helped friends in other NGOs, I helped my community group in San Pedro las Huertas—always sharing ideas, finding ways to develop and giving tools to success.” In sponsoring, Jaime says, “My wife and I had this idea to help other kids like me.”

The difference his sponsors made is clear for Jaime: “They helped me get the education I needed to succeed, even if they didn’t know me.” I asked him about what has changed in his family’s circumstances since he was a child. “Everything has changed,” says Jaime. “We have a decent house with a big yard. My parents are retired. They don’t have to work as hard for us as they did in the past, when my mom worked as a housekeeper and my dad as a gardener. My parents can relax more and do what they enjoy doing—for my mom that’s quilting, and for my father that’s gardening. They are so proud of my success, but I know there were a lot of people involved in it, and for all my life, I’m going to remember where I came from, who I am, and how I achieved this.”

Jaime is an inspiration to so many students working hard on their goals, and to so many supporters like you helping students get there.

 

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