The Kateri Tekakwitha Fund provides scholarships, educational support, and career and technical training to Guatemalan girls and women through the Kateri Education Fund. The Kateri Tekakwitha Fund is committed to supporting the education of Indigenous Guatemalan girls and women, who would not otherwise have access to these educational opportunities.
Girls' and women's education in Guatemala remains low, particularly for Indigenous women. Nationally Indigenous women in Guatemala complete an average of 3.1 years of schooling. Women in Chimaltenango tend to complete more years of school than the national average, with average of 4.6 years of schooling. (ENCOVI, 2006). The Kateri Tekakwitha Education Fund allows women to remain in school beyond elementary school by providing financial support to recipients.
In addition to providing the necessary financial support for their education, scholarship recipients attend monthly workshops led by staff members. The workshops help provide the young women with career, economic and professional skills, and develop sisterhood through social and cultural events. Graduates of the Kateri Education Fund provide additional mentorship support and lead workshops, which empower both the past and present Kateri Education Fund recipients.
In 2010, 92% of participants graduated high school and 100% graduated junior high. After the scholarship many women continue their education, and 84% are employed, supporting their families and educating their children. The Fund impacts participants' confidence by empowering them to participate in meetings and contribute to conversations. By completing the program, they gain professional respect and new options for employment. One said "Now, I value the fact that I'm a woman - and I am me".