Peruvian Hearts continues to be inspired by the girls we work with and the ongoing generosity of our supporters and thoughtful donors. It is because of your loyal support that the girls in Peru are breaking the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Your investment in these girls that is changing the world. Thank you again for your desire to be part of this meaningful and lasting change. The 30 girls we support are studying degrees such as architecture, law, economics, accounting, chemical engineering, mining engineering, civil engineering, education, art, culinary arts, communications & systems, business administration, tourism, and archeology. The following updates are about two young women, Gloria and Jessica, who over just the last few months have shown their great motivation to transform their lives, have established real dreams for a brighter future, and are quickly aquiring the skills and power to significantly change the world.
At just 16 years old, and having graduated from secondary school last December, Gloria, one of Peruvian Hearts youngest scholars, is making history while transforming her life and completely changing the future of her family. One of Peruvian Hearts’ most distinguished scholars, she was recently accepted to attend Pontifical Catholic University of Peru in Lima, to study Mining Engineering on a complete financial scholarship. Gloria was the only female recipient and one of two students (out of hundreds of applicants in Cusco) to receive the extremely competitive award, Beca 18, the most prestigious scholarship offered by the Peruvian government. Gloria was honored nationally and recognized in front of a large crowd in Cusco for her outstanding academic achievement and for entering what has previously been a thought of as a predominantly male industry, mining engineering. She is very excited to begin her five-year university career in August. We are thrilled for Gloria and proud of the amazing opportunity that she has earned. She has always been inspired, motivated, and driven to succeed with a constant vision of her larger dreams.
At 20 years old, Jessica joined Peruvian Hearts in February and has quickly proven herself to be a true leader and an extremely hardworking and motivated young woman. She began her university studies in economics in April at the National University in Cusco. During a welcome ceremony for the incoming class of students at the National University, a faculty member offered anyone in the entire student body an opportunity to speak in front of the audience. After no other students volunteered, Jessica stood up and took the opportunity to say a few words. She enthusiastically thanked the faculty and staff, on behalf of her entire class, for welcoming the new students, and spoke of her excitement about getting to know her classmates, and the benefits of learning from each other over the course of their studies. After she finished her remarks, the students began chanting, “Presidente! Presidente! Presidente!” Jessica has said she is not sure if she is ready to run for class president yet because she is still very focused on her schoolwork, but that she will think about it in the future. A quick learner, Jessica is growing accustomed to her demanding university schedule while also adjusting to her new life in the Peruvian Hearts apartment in Cusco with several of the other scholars, including her sister, Alexandra, who is studying accounting. Both Jessica and Alexandra are exceptionally inspired to become leaders and agents of change, transforming the lives their entire family and their communities.
Thank you to each and every one of our amazing supporters for your ongoing committment and support. Your investment in the young women in Peru continues to make a lasting difference and is helping to change the world.
For Peruvian Hearts, 2015 has gotten off to a sensational start. We are delighted to announce our recent partnership with Colegio Educandas, a girls’ secondary school in Cusco. After meeting various students from Colegio Educandas, who all deserve the opportunity to participate in Peruvian Promise, we are thrilled to welcome 6 young women from Educandas into the program: Miriam, Gloria, Helen, Sharron, Kristel and Thilcia. While all of these girls have lived through hardship and struggle, they have shown that they possess the perseverance and drive to overcome obstacles placed in their path. These studious young women have shown the drive and motivation they have to accomplish their dreams and we are excited that they have joined the growing family of Peruvian Promise scholars.
In addition to the 6 young women from Colegio Educandas, we are overjoyed to welcome Jessica Peralta, the older sister of Peruvian Promise scholar, Alexandra, into Peruvian Promise. Jessica was recently accepted into the extremely competitive National University (UNSAAC) to study economics and has demonstrated her passion to learn and hunger to succeed. As is the case for the thousands that apply for entrance into the National University, gaining admittance was not easy for Jessica. The first three times that she took the demanding entrance exam she was unable to attain one of the very few coveted vacancies. While disappointed, she did not give up and her persistence and determination prevailed. On her fourth try, she was one of 24 students, out of more than 500 applicants, who gained acceptance into the National University (an acceptance rate of only 4.8%).
On January 17th, the scholars of Peruvian Promise hosted Peruvian Hearts’ 2nd Annual Women’s Conference at Colegio Educandas. More than 150 girls, boys, women, and men attended the event and listened to speakers present on topics such as leadership, self-awareness and self-esteem, family violence, and sexual health. This one-of-a-kind conference was exceptionally well received and as the attendees departed the event, many of them asked when the next convention would be held. Peruvian Hearts brought in a team of specialists: Christina Berton, Santiago Trabolsi, and Marina Armendares,from Amara Foundation in Mexico to present the program for this year’s conference. Amara Foundation works hand in hand with Dove’s global initiative for girls’ empowerment and self-esteem. The knowledge and expertise that each of these remarkable experts brought, and their ability to connect with their audience through dynamic and engaging activities, made for an unforgettable and life-changing experience for many of the attendees.
On January 16th, the day before the Women’s Conference, the Peruvian Promise scholars had the opportunity to attend a private workshop held by the Amara Foundation team, who worked with the young women from 8:30am until 6:00pm. For many of the Peruvian Promise girls, it was a day filled with personal growth and empowerment. The team from Amara has put together a curriculum especially for Peruvian Promise and will continue to work with the Peruvian Promise scholars throughout the year via Skype. We are excited to be working with such a wonderful team and are so grateful for their commitment to Peruvian Hearts and the young women we support.
First and most importantly, we want to thank each and every donor and friend who has so generously given to support this important initiative. Peruvian Promise is unique in the way it empowers young women to become leaders in their families and communities. The program has grown in several ways and is making a significant impact in the lives of many deserving girls in Peru.
During recent months, the young women in Peruvian Promise have continued their personal growth and are more motivated than ever to finish their education and fulfill their dreams for the future. 2015 will be an exciting year for Peruvian Hearts, and especially for our empowerment program, Peruvian Promise, as a number of our inspirational scholars will be the first program participants to finish their classes and graduate from their respective universities. These dignified and proud young women will be the first of their families to graduate college, and they are excited to bring progressive and meaningful change to their families and communities.
In addition to the academic devotion the girls continue to demonstrate towards their chosen careers, they continue their daily English classes, and are now able to enthusiastically discuss their goals and dreams for the future in English! Their spirited desire to learn and speak English is evident in their continued progress and growth. These driven young women clearly understand the importance of learning English and the advantages and opportunities that will present themselves once the girls are able to understand and speak with confidence and ease.
On October 31st, Peruvian Promise held a meeting for the parents of the participating girls to offer them the opportunity to come together to discuss their thoughts ideas and about the program. It was a very productive meeting, and all of the parents became even more united as a group, and felt comfortable sharing their opinions the program. In addition to discussing their ideas about Peruvian Promise, every parent mentioned how grateful they are for the opportunity that Peruvian Hearts as given their daughters. They discussed how their daughters’ involvement in Peruvian Promise has not only changed their daughters’ lives, but the lives of every family member. The families of the girls in Peruvian Promise come from extreme poverty, and without Peruvian Hearts’ support for their daughters, these parents would have to make an extremely difficult decision, deciding which of their children they will choose to provide with an education and which of their children will not be able to receive an education. Several parents remarked that because Peruvian Hearts is supporting their daughter, they no longer have to make that choice and can instead afford to educate their other children as well. The important critiques and comments from the parents made it clear that the impact of this unique program reaches far beyond the participants themselves, and has a correspondingly significant impact on the lives of their parents and siblings.
Peruvian Hearts is excited to announce the partnership with Colegio Educandas, a girls’ secondary school in Cusco. We are impressed by the dreams and desires of the bright young students, and are enthusiastic about offering nine young women from Educandas the opportunity to participate in Peruvian Promise. On November 16th, these top students will take their university entrance exam, and we are hopeful that they will gain admittance to the very competitive National University, and be able to join our program. Currently, four Peruvian Promise scholars are studying at the National University in Cusco, for careers such as chemical engineering, mathematics, archeology, and accounting. In addition to the nine young women from Educandas, two current Peruvian Promise participants will also be graduating from secondary school and taking their university entrance exam on the same day. We wish all eleven of these girls the best of luck on their exam and know they will soon aspire to greatness in their post-secondary studies.
We are excited to announce that in January of 2015, the Peruvian Promise scholars enrolled in university will host Peruvian Hearts' 2nd annual Women’s Conference at a girls’ secondary school in Cusco. Approximately 120 people attended Peruvian Hearts’ first-ever Women’s Conference last year, and this upcoming January the Peruvian Promise scholars are enthusiastic about inviting and offering this unique experience to more than twice as many people. They are expecting 250-300 girls, women, teachers, and mentors from local secondary schools and universities to attend. We have selected some amazing speakers to present at the 2015 conference, from as far away as Mexico City, who will travel to Cusco to discuss important subjects such as self-esteem, leadership, family violence, conflict resolution, spirituality, and sexual health. The 2015 keynote speaker will be Christina Berton from Mexico City, who runs the Amara Foundation, which specializes in self-esteem for girls and women. Christina has worked for many years with DOVE’S world-renowned girls’ self-esteem program, and we are thrilled to have her working with Peruvian Hearts. Christina’s team at the Amara Foundation is in the process of developing a self-esteem program specifically for Peruvian Promise! We are eager to incorporate it into the program at the beginning of next year, as we know it will deeply strengthen Peruvian Promise and its impact on the participating girls.
This week marks the three-year anniversary of our signature empowerment program, Peruvian Promise. We are thrilled with the results thus far and so thankful to all of our amazing supporters who have truly helped to make this program such a great success. We are excited to grow the program and offer this life-changing opportunity to even more deserving young women in Peru. We plan to double the size of the program in the next three years! We are sincerely humbled by the generosity of each and every supporter who has given to this worthy cause. From the bottom of our hearts and on behalf of the girls in Peruvian Promise, thank you!
During the past three months, the young women in Peruvian Promise have shown significant signs of growth and are quickly becoming leaders. They continue to mature as individual women, and at the same time have grown substantially closer more united as a group. The incredible support, trust, and genuine love they have for one another is remarkable, and empowers each girl with perpetual encouragement and the knowledge that she has a dependable group of sisters who will always be there for her. These young leaders continue to progress in their studies and are getting closer to completing their undergraduate degrees. They have studied English on a daily basis for more than 4 months now and each day they become more confident in their abilities to speak a second (or third in many cases) language! The girls also just received a brand news kitchen stove and their first washing machine in the apartment in Cusco. They are incredibly excited to not have to wash their clothes by hand any longer and can instead use this time in other beneficial ways.
On July 12th, five girls from Peruvian Promise flew to Lima to attend the FoCo Conference hosted by Fundación Angélica Fuentes. The foundation aims to strengthen female entrepreneurship by activating women’s abilities and capabilities so that they develop significant leadership skills that motivate them to exert an influence in the economic, political, social, and cultural spheres. Peruvian Hearts founder, Ana Dodson, was one of several inspirational speakers to address more than 10,000 men and women who attended at the conference. Other speakers included women such as Angelica Fuentes, founder of Fundación Angélica Fuentes, Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, Christina Berton, founder of the Amara Pro Self-Esteem Foundation, Senna (from the documentary, Girl Rising), Peru's former Minister of Culture, Susana Baca, among others. The conferences was streamed live over the web and at one point the girls from Peruvian Promise were recognized in front of the entire croud for their inspiring accomplishements. It was a life changing experience for the scholars who attended and after their return to Cusco, they shared what they had learned with the other girls in the Peruvian Promise. Peruvian Heats works hard to offer these young women opportunities for leadership, participation in service work as well as mentorship and regular empowerment classes. The aspiring young leaders in Peruvian Promise are taking full advantage of the opportunities that have been presented to them as they continue to flourish.
One inspirational young woman in Peruvian Promise, Rosa, is studying chemical engineering at the extremely competitive National University in Cusco. Rosa has seven brothers and sisters and currently lives with her mother and her younger sister in Izcuchaca. She commutes by bus over an hour everyday, each way to and from school. She is incredibly intelligent and driven to succeed and recently won a class competition for building the best model rocket. We are so proud of Rosa for her inspiring effort in school and know that she will soon be one of the best chemical engineers in Peru! Keep up the good work, Rosa, and know that many people are cheering for you and enthusiastic to watch your future endeavors and successes!
We want to welcome, Karen, as the newest girl to join the Peruvian Promise family. We are so excited to have another very special, incredibly smart and driven young women join the rest of our young scholars. Karen will graduate from secondary school in December and plans to attend a university prepertory academy to prepare fot the college entrance exam to study law. She moved into the Peruvian Promise apartment in Cusco, where seven of the girls in the program currently live in order for them to more easily focus on their studies while attending university. Karen's mother was extremely supportive and very grateful for her daughter to receive an opportunity to participate in this transformative empowerment program. Karen is a great addition to the program and will soon completely transform her own life and drastically change the lives of her current and future family members. She is the next girl to help us break the cycle of inter-generational poverty in Peru.
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The young women in Peruvian Promise have grown and and become even more empowered over the past several months. In February and March the scholars in Peruvian Promise participated in the second annual leadership institute in Urubamba at La Quinta Eco Hotel. The event was hosted by the Visionaria Network and funded by Rotary International. After completing the intensive 10-day leadership portion of institute, the girls collaborated ion six-week service projects in small groups within their own communities. The different group projects included the distribution of clean water filters, the construction and installation of clean cook stoves, and the creation and presentation of a leadership class for local highschoolers. Meaningful leadership experiences such as these are invaluable to the growth and development of the girls’ sense of empowerment. It was wonderful to see how much the girls enjoyed working on their service projects together.
At the beginning of March, 17 of the young ladies in Peruvian Promise began studying English on a daily basis. Each day a private teacher, Roxana, offers two 1-hour sessions at the Peruvian Promise apartment in Cusco. The small-group classes, which are taught once in the morning and once in the evening, foster a comfortable learning environment that allows the girls to learn with excitement and speak with confidence. The opportunity to learn English will give these young women a useful lifelong skill that will empower them and ultimately help open the doors to new carreer opportunities.
April marked the beginning of a new school year for many of our university scholars. We are excited that two of our university scholars, Flor Nelida and Flor Katherine, will graduate in December at the end of this school year. Each girl in Peruvian Promise continues to study hard and remains focused on her dreams for the future. It is inspiring to watch these young girls blossom and aspire to achieve their dreams.
These girls have the opportunities to dream because of our generous supporters. Thank you for your thoughtful support. Without it, these young women would not be who or where they are today. Because of you, and many others just like you, these women are breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. They are becoming the well-respected and empowered leaders of tomorrow and they will continue to transform their lives day by day to achieve their dreams -- and YOU have been a big part of it -- thank you.
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