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Posts Tagged ‘education’

Watching Brayan Grow into Adulthood

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Brayan is turning 18 in January.

By Kelly Shank –

Brayan when he first arrived at Dorie's Promise

Brayan in 2007.

When Brayan was barely 3 years old he toddled into our home for the first time. It’s hard to believe that in just 2 short months he’ll turn 18 years old!

For Heather, our founder, Brayan is like one of her own children. Having spent several years living in Guatemala with her family during the opening of Dorie’s Promise, Heather has known Brayan since he first entered our home and her family’s memories include him as a little boy playing with her children.

Recent visitors to our home will recognize Brayan as the fun-loving young man who towers over the other boys. He’s also the one you will definitely want on your soccer team because he’s really good. If you’ve spent any amount of time with Brayan you can’t help but smile when you think about him because he’s one of the happiest children in our home, always smiling and his laugh is contagious. Plus, he’s always ready to help anyone whether that’s during community projects with teams, the maintenance men around our house, the Special Mothers, or the other children. He’s a really good kid we all love.

In the last year we’ve started to make a transition in our home.

Where our home was once filled with cribs and babies, now it’s full of video games, makeup, tweens and teens. Almost half of our children are 10 years old or older and many of them will be with us until they reach adulthood. So, just like Nayeli last year and Brayan this year, we’re carefully trying to help prepare each of them for their future.

Brayan in 2017 at Dorie's Promise.

Brayan in 2017

We are about to begin what may be the hardest work we’ve ever done—helping each child become a successful, independent adult. We have many ways to make this happen and great opportunities available for our children but we truly want to make the absolute best choice for each individual by balancing their desires, their unique talents, their struggles, and the resources available.

Although he will turn 18 this January, Brayan will be staying at Dorie’s Promise. He has another year of school left in his vocational training before he graduates. Giving him the benefit of a full education is a priority for us. Brayan is working hard in school because he wants to get a good job. Thanks to his schooling, he will have experience and training that gives him an edge in the workforce. Plus, there are more things he wants to learn this year, like photography. Alejandra, our Director, is hoping to enroll Brayan in photography classes to help him improve his skills and explore his career possibilities with local professionals.

Both Heather and Alejandra are committed to doing the very best for each of our children. The children of Dorie’s Promise are their children too and like any good mother they want to give them the best opportunity for success. For Brayan, right now that means finishing his last year of high school and taking classes that will prepare him for his future career. He might be a chef or a photographer, time will tell. No matter what, we’re committed to launching him well into adulthood.

School’s Out for Summer (in Guatemala)

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Dorie's Promise Director Alej, cheks in on children doing homework.

By Kelly Shank –

Let the fun begin and the homework end at Dorie’s Promise!

Nayeli Soto reading at her school El Shaddai.Summer vacation starts this week for most of our children and they are excited for later mornings and fun activities. Everyone at Dorie’s Promise is taking a much needed break this week. We had 30 children in 5 different schools this past year. That’s 30 lunches to pack each day, 30 children to get ready each morning, and a lot of time spent driving to drop-offs and pick-ups.

We’ll share more stories about the fun activities we have planned for them over the next few months but for now we want to brag about how great our children did in school.

Three of our boys graduated from Kindergarten. Elvis, Yire, and Abraham Najera spent the year working on their reading, writing, and math, when they weren’t running around playing soccer or tag. Our home had no shortage of colorful art projects either thanks to these boys. They are excited to join the bigger children in elementary school next January.

School is where Nayeli Soto shines. Ever since she was little Nayeli loved learning, even getting extra help on math from visitors when children others were outside playing. Her hard work paid off this year. She was recognized as one of the top students in her grade. We’re so proud of how hard she works in school.

Brayan took a cooking class at his vocational school.Our oldest child, Brayan, finishes school next month. His vocational school helped him discover skills that are both useful and enjoyable. Participating in the “Mini Chefs” program furthered his love of cooking and also gave him the opportunity to experience cooking in a restaurant environment. We were very proud to see his art work and sculpture included in an exhibition at the Rozas Botran Foundation as well.

Mario had the most difficulty transitioning to school. At the beginning of the school year he had trouble following directions, sharing with his classmates, and would cry because school was overwhelming. Working with both the Special Mothers and his school, he was able to move him into a different program that accommodates his challenges but still allows him learn. We’re grateful that he attends a school where he can learn, despite his challenges.

Second grade was tough for Juanita and Monica at the beginning of the year. Both girls struggled with reading and writing, making their classwork difficult. Thanks to the Special Mothers and our teacher the girls received extra help at home on these two subjects. As they became more comfortable reading and writing their self-confidence grew. By the end of the school year the girls became avid readers who now enjoy looking for new books to read on their own. Reading has unlocked their confidence and excitement for school.

Summerr break has started for the kids of Dorie's Promise.Some of the biggest successes we watched came from Myra, Cristina, and Manuel. These three came to our home after the fire at the Virgen de la Asuncion orphanage. We didn’t transition them into school until May but the success they experienced is phenomenal. Manuel and Cristina are learning to read and Myra is excited for the chance to attend school. Seeing how grateful they were for the opportunity to attend school reminds us just how important education is.

Education gives our children the ability to dream.

Thanks to the support of faithful donors, our children were able to achieve their goals in great schools. Early morning wake-up calls, packing 30 lunches each morning, and spending hours driving between schools is worth the effort as we watch our children thrive as individuals.

We’re committed to providing high quality, individualized education for our children again next year. If you would like to support the education of our children, please make a one-time education donation today or consider becoming a monthly sponsor.

6 Months After the Fire… Moving Forward On Faith

Friday, October 20th, 2017

The three children from Virgen de la Asuncion who now live at Dorie's Promise.

By Heather Radu –

Myra is now thriving at Dorie's PromiseSix months ago the news rang out across the world that an orphanage in Guatemala had burned to the ground and children had died. 

After the fire, our team immediately knew that we wanted to help in any way possible.  We did many things like send food, water, and blankets to help the children there in need.

The best thing our team did was accept several children into our home.

We didn’t really have the space or the budget to accept them but we took them anyway moving forward on faith knowing it was the right action to take.

Each child that came to us faced different challenges because of their individual background and the conditions that they had lived in previously.  The government orphanage was a large facility that housed hundreds of children and the caregivers weren’t able to give the level of individual care that we would expect in our home.  The ensuing investigation brought to light a history of abuse, mistreatment, and neglect resulting in several people being charged with various offenses related to the facility and fire.

Moving from those conditions to our home after such a traumatic event has been difficult for the children, but we are happy to share six months later, we are seeing great progress.

Cecilia, our staff psychologist, shared with me some of the growth that she has seen in these children.  I want to share that with you and ask for your continued help to take care of them.

Manuel and one of the Special Mother's enjoy a game of UNO at Dorie's Promise.Christina was scared, Myra was skeptical, Manuel needed extra care. It was not easy for them to learn to trust again, but because of the patient loving care of our staff the children have opened up. They are engaging with others, trusting again, and dreaming again.

We are so thankful for the opportunity to impact these children and help them thrive after experiencing such a great trauma and loss.

Now it is time to take the next step and get them enrolled in school!

Please stand with me and consider a special gift to help make sure that each and every one of our children receives the education they need to learn and mature.

The average cost of sending a child to a private school in Guatemala is $1,700 per year. That’s just about $142 a month — which covers everything they need; tuition, books, uniforms, after-school activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation. We’d like to raise $25,500 before December 31. 

Give Today!

 

P.S. Thanks to you Myra, Manuel, and Christina are thriving.  Let’s help them take the next step in their care and make sure they get the best education we can give them in Guatemala City.

What Nayeli Teaches Us about Success

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Nayeli (or Nalleli) and Dorie's Promise director Alej.

By Kelly Shank –

Nayeli’s made the transition to the US, found a great group of friends, and is doing well.Last year we reached a milestone at Dorie’s Promise. Our oldest child, Nayeli, completed her schooling in Guatemala and transferred to a private school in the United States.

Watching her over the last year has been exciting. She’s made the transition to the US, found a great group of friends, and is doing well.

After only one semester at her new school she was able to transfer to a local community college to begin her college career full-time. Nayeli’s college success comes as no surprise to those who know her well. She is one of the brightest, most determined young women we have ever met. While living in our home she was a natural leader to the younger children, a diligent student, someone the staff could rely on, and a valuable resource for visiting teams.

What we hadn’t realized until recently is that the success of Dorie’s Promise will really be measured by our ability to raise children who can live what we would consider regular lives and become fully themselves.

Nayeli taught us, without even knowing it, what lies in the heart of our children—the desire for us to see them as individuals, not focusing only on their story. Like each of us, our children carry a personal story that has shaped them and we work diligently to help them heal from their past hurts. Nayeli has transcended her story and become a confident young woman who owns her future. Our ultimate goal is to allow our children to become the best version of themselves.

We’ve succeeded in raising a young woman who feels confident in her abilities and is taking this opportunity to become herself.Nayeli’s story is successful because she is pursuing her college degree in a field that interests her. She is creating a life filled with family and friends, just like each of us. She persevered through her first semester, adapted to life in the US, and became more comfortable with speaking English full-time. Listening to her tell about how much she enjoys the variety of classes she’s taking is refreshing. Even her uncertainty when asked about what she wants to do after college is encouraging.

We’ve succeeded in raising a young woman who feels confident in her abilities and is taking this opportunity to become herself.

The future of Dorie’s Promise is already impacted by Nayeli’s success as she anticipates returning to Guatemala to mentor our older children as they prepare to graduate and move into the next phase of their lives. Her experience gives them an example of the opportunities available when they face their fears and chase after their goals.

We’re grateful that Nayeli has been so influential to everything we do at Dorie’s Promise and can’t wait to see what her future holds!

Homeschooling Success Stories

Monday, August 14th, 2017

The backpacks of children from Dorie's Promise and neatly lined up and ready to go.

By Kelly Shank –

Dorie's Promise teacher Lucky gets some papers ready.For many of us August signals the end of summer vacation and beginning of a new school year. We’re busy scoping out back-to-school sales, shuttling kids to sports practices, and attending back-to-school nights as we ease back into our routines. We don’t question whether our children will attend school, just maybe which school is the best fit for them.

Education is a great equalizer but when children are born into generational poverty they lack access to this gift.

Often children entering Dorie’s Promise, and those in communities where we serve, lack opportunities for quality education. Education can be a luxury because survival is the priority.

Did your family ever move when you were a child? Do you remember walking into your new school on the first day, unsure about where to go and not yet having met your new group of friends?

Now imagine this same situation but you’re 7 years old and you’re entering school for the first time ever. No preschool, no kindergarten, no formal schooling. Earlier this year we welcomed Cristina into our home after the horrific fire at the Virgen de Ascunsion orphanage. Based on her age, she should be well into elementary school by our standards, but this bright young girl has never attended school before. The mix of an unstable home and eventual transfer to a large government orphanage caused her to miss out on her education. She wasn’t just behind in school, she had never been exposed to school before.

Earlier this year we welcomed Cristina into our home after the horrific fire at the Virgen de Ascunsion orphanage.

Christina

We are starting at the beginning to help her catch up on her studies and she is excited to experience school for the first time.

Cristina isn’t our first child who has needed special help with school. For some of the poorest in Guatemala, their childhood revolves around picking vegetables or selling trinkets on the streets of Guatemala City to help support their families. Many years ago we opened our home to a beautiful young woman who had been working to help care for her four younger siblings. We knew that she was full of potential and wanted to learn but school would not be easy for her. Instead of Spanish, her native language was one of the local dialects which made learning in a traditional school and communicating within our home difficult. Overcoming this obstacle was key to her future school success.

Both of these girls are bright and filled with promise, our job is to help them be successful. Thanks to our teacher at Dorie’s Promise and the efforts of the Special Mothers in our home, both of these young ladies have made huge strides. The young woman who came to us many years ago made tremendous gains during the years she lived with us.

At Dorie's Promise children get education to match their needs.After being homeschooled she was able to attend a local vocational school that offered her the chance for a good job. The girl who struggled to speak Spanish eventually went on to surprise us by learning conversational English. We are thankful for our dedicated teacher and Special Mothers who spent countless hours helping these girls so that they could make up for many lost school years.

These are just two examples of the difficulties our children face. Identifying the struggles and strengths of each child in our home is key to helping them succeed! We give our children opportunities to be adults who can break the cycle of generational poverty and become the next generation of leaders.

Last Chance to Give for 2016

Friday, December 30th, 2016

A BIg smile from one of the children at Dorie's Promise GuatemalaPlease consider a special gift to help us end 2016 strong. Your gift will help us make sure that we are able to send the children of Dorie’s Promise to the schools best fitted to their individual needs and learning abilities.

The average cost of sending a child to a private school in Guatemala is $142 a month, or $1,700 per year — which covers tuition, books, uniforms, after-school activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation. Everything they need to be successful.

We invite you to help us give our children this exceptional education, a chance most orphaned children will never have, through your kind giving. Maybe you could give a gift of $1,000 or $500. Maybe that’s too much. Maybe you are better able to give a gift of $50 or $100. Please give today, before the year is out.

Thank you for making a real difference in the lives of our children!

Ana’s School Breakthrough!

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Ana is in the fourth grade.By Heather Radu –

A beaming Ana at her school, Shaddai.Last week I gave you updates on Nayeli and Brayan (if you missed it, read that post here.) I’d really like you to know about Ana too. Because of your help, we have been able to get Ana into a wonderful Christian school called Shaddai. She is in the fourth grade. When she came to us 7 years ago, she was behind in her schooling. We worked with her, of course, but always knew her math skills were lagging.

This year she’s had a breakthrough! Her teacher has been spending extra time with her on math. Ana has been getting regular tutoring on the subject … and you know what? She was recently selected to represent the school in a math competition!

She did well and proved to herself that it just takes extra effort to get ahead and do well in school. What a great life lesson!

Alej says that Ana is now talking about attending college and becoming a doctor someday!

Ana had a breakthrough in school this year.Stories like Ana’s, of lives that being changed at Dorie’s Promise, are an every day occurrence. They are stories of lives being changed because of you, your heart, and your giving.

We need to raise about $30,000 to secure schooling for our children before their school year begins in January. Please pray about it. Whatever God lays on your heart to contribute, I want to urge you to give it today.

When you give, I want to do something really special for you. I’ve been thinking about what would be nice to do that would connect you with the work of education. If you can send a gift of $100 or more, I want to send you one of our children’s report cards with a note from them saying thank you. My hope is you will keep it close by — on the fridge or in your office or in your Bible — somewhere it will remind you of the important work you are doing in Guatemala to help the orphans at Dorie’s Promise grow and thrive.

Let me hear from you soon. We are making plans for schooling for each of our children as you read this. Please Give Today.

It is Almost Time for School… (January Begins A New School Year in Guatemala)

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Maria is all packed up and ready for school!

By Heather Radu –

Take a moment to stop and remember what it was like to get ready for a new school year.

The new shoes, new clothes, maybe a new backpack or even pee-chee folders. It was all so exciting — like a new adventure was about to start.

Nayeli shortly before leaving to study in the USA.I want to give you an update on Nayeli. As you may know, Nayeli is on a student visa to the United States. She’s the oldest child in the home and has grown into a woman of God with a heart that is tender and kind. Her passion for learning is real, and because of that she’s now able to study in the United States. Please join me in praising God for this young woman. I’ve known her since she was 3. To watch her grow and thrive is a testament to the work we are doing at Dorie’s Promise Guatemala.

I also want to tell you about Brayan.

We have had Brayan in our care since 2009. When he was young, he was a fiery little guy — nearly impossible to control. Some of it was due to his independent spirit … some because of a slight learning disability.

Over the years, we have worked diligently with Brayan to help him achieve and overcome. One of the ways we have been able to do that is getting him into a special technical school. It has allowed him to explore and develop different skills that will help him in the work place as he matures.
His favorite class at school is music, and he is learning to play guitar. He also enjoys the cooking and computer classes. Alej says, “Every morning he is ready to go to school with a big smile — and the only reason for that is because he enjoys every day and is making good friends there.”

This is what it means to see a life Forever Changed!Brayan gets hands on experience at his technical school.

But Nayeli and Brayan are not the only children doing well.

As we look ahead, I want to ask you to help us continue to make sure our children get the best education possible. This is the key to building a better life, to breaking the cycle of poverty. I truly believe that the children who rise up from Dorie’s Promise will be leaders in this country someday — that they will speak truth to the problems that created the scenario in which they were left alone as children.

Please stand with me and consider a special gift to help them go to the schools that will best help them learn and mature.

The average cost of sending a child to a private school in Guatemala is $1,700 per year. That’s just about $142 a month — which covers tuition, books, uniforms, after-school activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation.

I would like to invite you to help us give our children an exceptional educational experience through your kind giving. I don’t know what you could give. My role is to ask for the children, so I’m asking. Maybe you could give a gift of $1,000 or $500. Maybe that’s too much. Maybe you are better able to give a gift of $50 or $100. Give today.

I want you to know everything you do for our children helps and makes a real difference! Thank you!

Vision, Hopes, And Dreams…

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Education at Dorie's Promise is tailored to each child.

By Heather Radu –

Our staff has never been in a better place. For years, we have had to spend a lot of time working on the daily operations and staffing. We have had staff come and go … in my opinion, the mix of personalities and talent was just never exactly right to give our children and the home the kind of care and attention they needed.

Today all that has changed. This is the best I have seen our operations run in Guatemala since the day we started. These changes in our home have allowed me to be able to engage our team and talk and dream about the future.

Those are the hopes and dreams and ideas I want you to read about.

Dr. Castro continues to work with us and make sure our children get the best possible health care.Health Care

Dr. Castro continues to work with us and make sure our children get the best possible health care. I am completely confident in his abilities in this area and look forward to his partnership for many years to come. As you know, we decided a few years ago that the mental health of our children was also a priority. We have made significant investments in this area and will continue to do so. As the children get older, we are seeing an even greater need for this kind of therapy. We must continue to be focused on mental health issues so that our children can really grow and thrive.

Education

We are spending a lot of time and energy on finding the right schools for our children. Last week we had two 6th grade graduations — Jennifer and Ingrid finished elementary school. When I heard Ingrid received her diploma, what immediately came to mind was the little girl who came to our home seven years ago. She had never studied. She was afraid to even think about the idea. But today her world is totally different. She has dreams, she has goals to reach. I am confident there will be a day when we see her becoming a professional. Some of our children, like Ingrid and Jennifer, have the ability to go on to college. Others are going to need to be focused on a technical track. Our tutor is helping each of our children and identifying things they love, talking with them about their hopes and dreams. Join me in continuing to pray for them and their education. Our goal is to put them each on a path that amplifies their natural abilities and allows them to be successful.

Brayan, has been learning to play the guitar, and two weeks ago he had a performance at his school. Extracurricular

Giving children the opportunity to expand their horizons is huge. And extracurricular activities are the best way to do that. Brayan, for example, has been learning to play the guitar, and two weeks ago he had a performance at his school. He did so well! The audience loved his performance. His teacher complimented his natural talent. Giving our children exposure to activities like soccer, tennis, and martial arts teaches them discipline as well. It allows them to interact with adults outside the home and learn respect. It also teaches them hobbies that are popular in Guatemalan culture — ones they will probably use with their own children and grandchildren.

English

One of the best things we can do for our children is to teach them English. This is one of the key factors for being financially successful in Guatemala. Our children are always exposed to English with our mission trip guests. Ana is our star right now. She has been taking some English courses at school. Paul, a volunteer who teaches English, is coming to Dorie’s twice per week and is surprised at the interest and capacity that Ana is showing to learn English. We want to give all our children the opportunity to speak English, learn it, know it, and internalize it. Our team believes this is possible for all our children.

International Exposure

Nayeli is a first example of giving one of our children international exposure. She is currently studying in the United States, and we are learning more and more about how to do it in the future. Our children, from their earliest ages, get a chance to interact with Americans and Canadians. Being able to send them out of Guatemala and give them a bigger picture of the world is very important to our team.

Ana is our star English student/Our Board believes, and I hope you do, too, that by helping our children in these ways, we will be opening up a world of opportunities to them.

These are the hopes and dreams of our staff in Guatemala City. These are things we can do together, and what I believe God is calling us to do. 

Your generosity will be used to help all our children grow and thrive and become the people God created them to be.

If you’re like me, you see each one of them as more than just an orphaned child. You see their value and their purpose. Thank you for being part of their lives!

This December, please help us with a special gift for the children. Before the years out, we need to raise around $30,000. In order to raise that amount, it is going to take all of us— you, me, everyone we know. Please share this update with your friends. Spread it on social media, email it to your church mission committee,  print and give it to your grandmother— get the word out.

Help us reach this year-end goal!

New Opportunities: Brayan’s Education

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Brayan learning to cook in his vocational school.

By MJ Zelya-

Pablo our Missions Director with BrayanBrayan is attending a new school, a training/vocational school, to help him develop in other capacities and areas. It will provide him the tools he needs for his future.

He loves both gastronomy and music. He does well at French cooking, and he loves to play the guitar. Someone donated a guitar for him to practice at home, so he is always playing and singing.

He is also playing on a soccer team on Saturdays. They have played in several championships — winning first place in one and fifth place in the other. He was so excited when they won the trophy. His trainer says Brayan has the potential to be a great soccer player.

His teachers say:

He has great culinary ability, is dedicated to the craft, and finishes what he starts. His leadership qualities help him in workshops and as part of a team. Sometimes he gets upset if he has to correct something that was done wrong.

Someone donated a guitar for him to practice at home, so he is always playing and singing.In regard to art and sculpture, he has developed artistic skills and can perfectly mix all the colors he uses when he’s drawing and making models.

In his dance classes, he is enthusiastic and loves the Latin rhythms. He is always positive, getting more coordinated, and creating new steps and giving suggestions.

In computer class, he is a genius — one of the best in the classroom.

He is a strong student, polite, loving, and responsible.

We are so proud of Brayan’s achievements in and out of school! He is a boy with great potential who is not only developing skills for his future, but also preparing to be a good citizen of his country. If you’d like to help us continue to provide educational and growth opportunities for children like Brayan consider a special gift for education. Every year it takes nearly $55,000 to continue to ensure our children receive the EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION they need. We want to make sure that every child living at our home gets education that is tailored to their needs. You can help make that happen: GIVE TODAY!