The MAIA Impact School provides a holistic education with an equal focus on academics, culture/identity, and personal development for 150 girls (grades 7-9). Creating a generation of empowered female leaders who can lead choice-filled lives and ignite transformational change. The combination of local leadership and deep engagement with families creates an ecosystem of support that meets the unique needs of marginalized indigenous girls in rural Guatemala to create long-term, sustainable impact.
Mayan women in Guatemala average only 4 years of schooling and half are mothers by age 18. The few young women who do manage to enroll in secondary school access a substandard educational system. In 2018, 6% of high school graduates in Solola were considered "proficient" in math and 25% in reading. The handful of girls who manage to access and complete public secondary school often enter a labor market with an education that impedes-rather than supports-their upward trajectory.
The Impact School is created to maximize the potential of Mayan girls by providing high-quality education while supporting holistic socioemotional development and celebrating culture. Every aspect of the school, the curriculum, and the mentorship program has been developed to nourish and connect the girls' talents with the opportunities of the 21st century. Creating a generation of female leaders empowered to break cycles of poverty and inequality. We call MAIA students "Girl Pioneers."
MAIA's organizational goals for Girl Pioneer Graduates: 1. Economic Autonomy-Each graduate will be employed and have annual earnings that exceed the average income in Guatemala. 2. Her Family on Her Terms-graduates will delay marriage and pregnancy until they are at least 25 years old. 3. Lifelong Learning-graduates will achieve an average of 15 years of schooling. 4. Unlocking Leadership Potential-Empowered to empower, Girl Pioneers will pursue leadership positions at all levels of society.
MAIA received the 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize