The ripple effect

Melvin (21) tips the heavy mug with one hand, carefully directing the stream of frothy milk into the caramel-colored coffee with his other. Slowly, a rippled design begins to coalesce as he continues tipping and pouring. When he’s done, the large, heart‑shaped pattern atop the aromatic cappuccino brings to mind Children International’s logo.

It’s not much of a stretch to imagine how that image represents the ripples of change that CI’s support has created in Melvin’s life and those of others.

Generations of hardship

Melvin grew up knowing his father and mother, Victor and Rosa, always wanted him and his five siblings to have better futures than they had. Every day of their lives growing up in El Llano, Honduras, had been a laborious challenge — from gathering firewood and cooking over an open flame to working the land to grow corn and red beans.

Such hardships are commonplace in Honduras where some of the poorest people in Central America dwell. Sixty percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Housing and sanitation are basic, and many children don’t receive more than three years of schooling. Melvin was an exception, making it through primary school (grade six). Still, his future and those of his siblings looked bleak. They didn’t expect to attain lives much different than their parents.

A new oportunity & paying it forward

A new opportunity & paying it forward

On a visit to his local CI community center three years ago, however, Melvin got a glimpse of a new future. He learned about CI’s Into Employment® program. With his parents’ encouragement, he applied and was selected for its hospitality training.

Melvin trained at a coffee bar in the nearby town of Copán Ruinas and eventually was offered a full-time barista position. After a few successful months, the shop owner chose Melvin to help open and work at a new location in San Pedro Sula.

Today, life for the entire family has greatly improved. Melvin is now paying it forward by contributing to his family’s irregular income. In one month, he earns what his father might earn in one year. He says he plans to go back to school, and his father says his brothers and sisters are motivated by Melvin’s success.

Melvin shows off the cappuccino he made at work

Melvin expertly crafts a cappuccino at a coffee bar in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Because of his steady employment, he is able to send money to his family in Copán Ruinas and inspire his younger siblings to dream.

Impacting generations

Melvin’s accomplishments couldn’t have happened without CI’s youth-development programs. Expanding these programs to help more kids is at the heart of our strategy to eradicate poverty.

Want to help?

Create a legacy of hope and success for these hard-working kids by including CI in your estate plans. CI’s Development Team can explain the many options available to help you design a bequest that best fits your goals or interests.

To get started, contact CI’s Development Team at 800-888-4089 or

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