For some people, summer is a time for flip-flops, sun, sand, and resting.
For people at HECAT, summer is a time for transformation.
As soon as the halls and classrooms emptied and our middle school students finished their courses, we received (with different levels of engagement) 21 volunteers during the summer including current students, parents, family members of our staff and even alumni who are now in college.
A budget of $500 USD was set aside to carry out the following DIY projects:
- repair and seal a wall in our new library that was being consumed by humidity,
- paint our new library,
- rehabilitate old furniture,
- buy supplies to create furniture from recycled materials
- buy supplies to make puff chairs
- set up a chalkboard wall
- buy plants for our garden
- buy supplies to make pots for our plants
- buy a small solar fountain water pump
- print quotes in vinyl to decorate our walls,
in addition to all the repairs that had been made before.
Where to now?
The new school year has started and, though we are still missing funds to buy 5 desktop computers, we have already set up books, seats and tables so our students can start enjoying this new space. We will keep campaigning and hope that by our next report, we can share news of how our new computers are working.
Thank you for being part of this and making a difference!
The last trimester of the ’18-’19 school year at HECAT has been full of joy, color, and music. Spring arrived and brought many celebrations such as our Spring Festival, Children’s Day, Mother’s Day, and so on. But this spring was extra special. As part of the American School of Torreon (CAT)’s Art Week 2019, we were delighted to experience at home the results of a generous opportunity that CAT has given some of our students: the opportunity to express oneself through art.
On April 11, the cast of the play “El Yeitotol” (“The Three Birds”) made up by students from CAT and HECAT demonstrated that art is bigger than economic or social differences as it provides a safe space for our children to explore their creativity and talents. The selection of the play could not have been more appropriate. The fable of “El Yeitotol” narrates the journey of three birds who wish to go beyond the highest mountain to find wonders, to find the Yeitotol.
This play is a story about teamwork, courage, tolerance and the fact that we are all part of a whole, but it also reflected the story of the collaboration process between HECAT and CAT. While one would be tempted to point out the unsymmetrical economic realities between students in both institutions, Faride, a 4th grader at HECAT and the lead role in the play did not hesitate to point out that “CAT made it easier for us to participate. A van from CAT would pick us up after classes every Tuesday and Thursday and they made everything easier for us so we could learn something new, and make new friends so I never felt different.
Marian (also a 4th grader at HECAT), like her character in the play, also saw this as an adventure: “They offered us to study robotics, Chinese or acting but I decided to take this opportunity because I am sometimes shy….Acting has shown me not to feel ashamed; acting taught me not to be afraid.”
Faride, who has been in the drama workshop at CAT for 3 years says the most important thing she has learned is that “we can all do big things if we work together, support and respect each other”.
The CAT+HECAT Drama students invite you to their end of school year presentation this June 6 where they will display once more how art brings people together. All of our students at HECAT are stars, but these girls have extra make-up and wings. Bravo to our elementary school stars!
And your contribution?
Thanks to your help, the construction of our new library was finished since our last report where we had been able to fundraise our final $1,500 for phase 1 (construction).
We have now expanded our budget to begin with the second phase of the project (furnishing and equipping). So far, we have been able to raise another $390 during the month of May, but we still need more support to be able to purchase a few desks, chairs, 4 desktop computers and internet installation in the Middle School section for our students.
Stay tuned to know how you can support students like Faride, Jade, Marian and Arantzazú continue shining!
With your support, our students will be the stars lighting a brighter future!
At HECAT, we have high expectations that all our students will eventually grow up to be productive change-makers, whatever the future may keep for them. However, the future does not seem so far away.
Karla is a clear example of how HECAT works with families to impact the future.
Along with her younger sister, Karla’s family was one of the first families that trusted our project since it was founded. Back in 2011, her mother overheard a couple of women speaking about a new promising school while riding a bus. Wanting the best for her daughters’ future, Karla’s mom hurried to register her daughters in our first groups.
Since then, Karla and her family have done everything from their side to take advantage of this opportunity. In 2017, as the first class graduated from our middle school, and thanks to her academic performance, Karla was awarded a full scholarship to continue with her high school in the most prestigious school in our city, the American School of Torreon (CAT).
While Karla, herself, is nearly 16 years old, she is convinced “children are the future” and she will not wait for the future to arrive to make a difference. Every day after school, she devotes her afternoons to help other children (some who are just her age) advance in school. She started tutoring some of our elementary school students at HECAT and also tutors a handful of students from private schools to help with her family’s economy.
The drastic changes experienced when moving from a school that helps underprivileged children to the most expensive school in town would potentially suggest that Karla would disconnect from HECAT once she graduated. Yet, this contrast between economic realities showed her the need for graduates of HECAT to pay pack or pay forward what they received. Karla explains:
“I want to be a teacher because education is the base for a prosperous future. I received so much at HECAT so I think there should be more schools like HECAT. I think it’s very important to give other children the same chance I had to build a better future”.
At HECAT, we do not expect great things from Karla in the future. She is already building a bright present, TODAY!
And your contribution?
Thanks to your help, we finally finished building our new space for middle school students since our last report. However, we were still about $1,500 USD short from our budget and, beyond a few benches we fixed for the outdoor section of the new library, we were unable to furnish the new space enough to make use of it.
We are glad to announce now that on March 6, our project to expand our middle school facilities was finally fully funded!
We are still waiting for the money to be disbursed, but once we receive it, we will be able to furnish our new library and start letting our students enjoy it. In the meantime, we are carrying out a baseline assessment that will allow us to measure in a qualitative and quantitative manner the impact that your contribution has.
New projects ahead!
Karla might have been the first but many more are coming in the same direction! Stay tuned to know how you can support our new project to provide clean and functioning restrooms for our elementary school children.
With your support, we are building a brighter future, TODAY!
Teachers, watch out! We are coming for your jobs!
When David, now age 14, joined our 4th-grade group back in 2012 (the second cohort to study with us), he was a notably shy boy. After his baby sister was born, his single mother struggled to balance her job at a food stand and caring for her new child. This made David feel ignored causing him to respond aggressively when approached.
David is no longer that boy. He graduated this year from HECAT and is now a top-performing student in his new high school, The Technical Industrial Secondary School of La Laguna (BATIL), scoring monthly average grades of 98/100.
His long-term dream is to be an engineer but he is also very passionate about math and teaching. Some weeks ago, he appeared at our principal’s office with unrecognizable confidence to show us how he had straight A’s in math. “Watch out, Professor Cuellar! I’m going to take your job as a math teacher”, he joked. Since that day, he runs after school every Tuesday to our facilities (since he is out from school early that day), and he helps our math teacher explain algebra problems to our seventh graders.
Even after graduating from HECAT, David is working hard to become a better person because he explains “my mom’s strong efforts should be worth it; she does her best for me so I should bring the best results I can.”
Thank you for helping us change lives and support changemakers!
Where is your contribution?
Since our last report, we are glad to say that construction for our collaborative working space (for middle school students) has been completed as well as most decoration.
A reading room and a semi-roofed space have been built to promote cooperative work among our high school students. This included fixing the electric installation, buying and setting up an air conditioner (due to the high temperatures in our region), building library shelves, setting up a roof, putting up windows and doors, setting up floors, and painting.
We still need to furnish and install our staff in the new space but we expect it to fully function by the beginning of the new semester.
Please refer to our photos attached to this report for yet another sneak-peak of the construction site.
Do stay tuned to our social media for updates on upcoming fundraisers and events, and holiday/monthly/annual sponsorship opportunities:
Our heartfelt season greetings to you who makes this change possible. May 2019 bring many good things as you have brought for us. Happy Holidays!
Meet Arantxa: a girl without borders!
Arantxa, age 13, is one of our most outstanding middle school students and just became our first students to earn a HSK certification (China's only standardized test of Standard Chinese language proficiency for non-native speakers)…with a super high score!
Arantxa, who hopes to pursue a career in mechatronics, believes studying languages is a necessary investment and that Mexican students should defy borders:
“I want to travel the world and learning several languages is the best way to make sure you will be ready for it”.
She is one of the many students who, thanks to your donation, will benefit from the new space that is being built on our roof to better accommodate our middle school students. Together, we are helping children and youth in the Laguna region prepare to go as far as they dare to dream.
The academic year 2018-19 has started and nearly 300 students are joyfully learning in all of our 3 sections (kindergarten, elementary and middle school). Our middle school section, in particular, has received 73 students (26 boys and 47 girls) who will soon be enjoying a new area to promote collaborative work.
Where is your contribution?
Do you remember how hectic our crowdfunding campaign was? Well, we haven’t lost momentum since then.
Four days before the campaigned ended (on June 25th), a group of architects came to our facilities to draft an updated construction proposal. GlobalGiving transferred the funds a month later and we received the final construction draft two weeks later. Since then, we have begun demolishing the old structure and setting up the walls for the new rooms. We hope the new space will be fully functioning by the next time you hear from us. Here is a sneak-peak of the construction site:
We are glad to state that donations raised through GlobalGiving are being used to provide better spaces for our children and youth, but we would love to hear more from you as well! Stay tuned to our social media for updates on upcoming fundraisers (such as our annual Paella sale) and events (such as the Chinese Lunar Festival). https://www.facebook.com/hermandadeducativacat/
Our heartfelt gratitude to you for your continued support!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.