Change My Stars Scholarship Fund: Puerto Plata, DR

by Project Esperanza
Oct 3, 2011

A Great Start, Plans for the Future


The English immersion camp during summer vacation went very well for the first summer. Throughout the summer we had 11 volunteer counselors and 24 campers. 5 campers were sponsored to attend the camp by anonymous donors, three were sonsored by their consistent supporter, and three attended in exchange for their mother helping out voluntarily. The other 13 campers were registered and paid for by their parents. So this gave a mix of campers from different parts of the community, different social classes, and different school experiences. Each week of camp had specific learning objectives and activities used to achieve the objectives. You can read about each of the five weeks on the camp's blog.

At the end of the camp, counselors made donations to grant scholarships to two of the anonymously sponsored campers. The scholarships were presented on the last day of camp and were used to register and pay the tution for the two campers in a higher quality private school or colegio as opposed to the lower quality public school they had previously attended. Upon preparing these students for the enw school year, one factor was overlooked - the colegio requires students to purchase their own books, totaling around $120 per student. Counselors, upon finding this out, donated funds to purchase books for one student, but not both. Therefore, some books were purchased for each student but not all. That is still a need.

Additionally, one of our anonymously sponsored campers should be in first grade this year but his family is having a really tough time and a month and a half into the school year he is still wandering around and playing outside during school hours. So it would be good to have a (late) scholarship to enroll him in school as well. Although he has some attention issues, he had great attendance at camp and, like our two scholarship recipients, displays lots of potential.

As far as the pre-school is concerned, we had hoped to start that this school year but did not have enough students register to be able to do so. No pre-school students were sponsored. We realize now that we got started advertising for the school quite late and will start well into the previous school year in order for it to open fall 2012. We feel confident that the camp will have great registration next summer as interest had really built by the end of this summer, especially among the friends of campers.

During this school year we still have some private English lessons going on and we are trying to prepare for next year by creating partnerships and searching for funding. In order to create an ongoing scholarship fund we really should have consistent income. As long as those who received scholarships this year continue to do well, we should continue providing aid so that they can stay enrolled at the private school and not take a step back down to public school. We should also grant new students with scholarships in future years. This will require consistent income. 

Additionally, we should have back up funding for the pre-school to ensure that, even if enough students are not registered or sponsored to cover the pre-school's expenses, the back up funds can fill in the gap and allow the school to function. This year also gives us more time to research different schools in the area and to study various pre-school curriculums. 

All in all, we are quite excited about this developing program. Thank you so much for your support! 




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Organization Information

Project Esperanza

Location: Winchester, VA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Caitlin McHale
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
$9,377 raised of $23,717 goal
46 donations
$14,340 to go
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