6 remarkable scholars who have big plans for the future

Education opens doors to bright futures. At CI, we've seen how transformational it is thousands of times: Shy kids blossom into eager, outgoing students. Teens use their knowledge to tutor younger children in the community centers. Youth graduating from college are able to secure jobs that pay more in one week than their parents make in a month.

Our kids are confident in school because they know that you their sponsors and the CI programs you support have their backs the whole way, with educational assistance, school supplies, tutors and HOPE scholarships.

HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty through Education) scholarships help fund secondary school, vocational training or a college education. Thousands of kids rely on this financial support to continue their studies. Read what six HOPE scholars have to say about their education and plans for the future:

Paul, 20, Quito, Ecuador

From Paul’s essay:

In this era of continuous change and globalization, education has become a necessity for everyone. Knowledge gives us the chance to be better, fulfill our dreams and reach our goals. Education can help improve people's living conditions.

A high-school degree can only guarantee low-paying jobs. But, thanks to Children International and its HOPE scholarship program, I have managed to continue with my higher education.

I thank Children International from the bottom of my heart for helping me with the cost of my learning at the Ecuadorian Red Cross Institute. I will become an excellent professional in prehospital care, and I'll be able to help people the same way you have helped me.

Lesly, 18, Guatemala

From Lesly’s essay:

If you ask me to talk about how education has changed my life, I will start by saying that now I cannot imagine my life without studying learning more and more every day.

When I finished my secondary education, I thought about leaving my studies because I knew that finishing high school would be very difficult [financially] for my parents. Then I thought about getting a job, but it would have been difficult. My parents were very sad because they really wanted me to finish [high school], but they didn't have the financial means to help me.

I knew about the HOPE scholarships in CI Mariscal, where I attend. I applied with many other young people. When I got the news that I had won the scholarship, it was a very happy day for me and my family. The scholarship has been vital for me. Without this support, I could not finish my [education] and aspire to a better future.

Now I am in the final year of high school and I want to continue in college. I love animals and would love to study veterinary medicine, zoology or something related. I'm doing my best. I have received compliments from my teachers and last year, I was president of my class. This is a win for my parents and an example to my brothers. Thanks to Children International for supporting me [by giving] me the scholarship.

Fanny, 18, Barranquilla, Colombia

From Fanny’s essay:

I have a dream that I want to make come true, and it is to work in occupational health. Since I was a child, I dreamed about being a doctor to save lives. From that time, I loved sciences and that is why I made a big effort in these subjects. Little by little, when I began high school, I found out that chemistry was a fascinating world.

When I came to know the opportunities that Children International offers, I immediately decided to apply for a HOPE scholarship. I figured out the meaning of that word in Spanish and realized that it was about "being hopeful." It is what I feel, because I have the desire to be a great professional.

At CI, I received help to study a technical field and, when I finish, I know that it will give me the opportunity to work and, later, to pay for my professional studies. Despite my family's lack of means, I want to keep ahead and fulfill my goals. I want to have a great job and work with my hands for what I want.

I want my family to be proud of me, and [I want] to have a different future compared to the youth around me in my community, some of those who have not had the opportunities that I have taken in the leadership program of the agency.

I will always be very grateful with CI for opening the door for me to make this long-awaited dream come true.

Gherald, 17, Legazpi, Philippines

From Gherald’s essay:

According to a Tibetan proverb, "A child without education is like a bird without wings." This has inspired me to join Children International and be a HOPE scholar. This scholarship is a big help to my family. My parents have one less child to worry about in terms of educational expenses, such as tuition fees, allowance and school projects. With CI, education is within my reach.

Now, I'm taking up a Bachelor of Arts degree in peace studies so I can hopefully be a fireman someday. I've always wanted to help my community, and this is what I see myself doing after graduation. I believe that education will help me succeed and improve our way of life. Without CI's financial support, I would remain poor, uneducated and would never get the chance to land a white-collar job or any job that offers a good future for me and my family. Education, says Nelson Mandela, is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.

With this scholarship, I have been given this wonderful opportunity to change my life for the better. To CI and my benevolent sponsor, I will be forever grateful for giving me HOPE for a brighter future! May God bless everyone who makes this scholarship possible.

Jeymi, 16, San Pedro Sula, Honduras

From Jeymi’s essay:

First, I thank God for being part of the Children International program, which I began eight years ago. I am very happy for all the support I have received from the program. For example, the support of the HOPE scholarship, which has been of much help to my studies and family, because in this country, as in the whole world, the economy is driving on the wrong way.

Currently, I am studying the career of business administration at the José Trinidad Cabañas Institute, IHER.

Since childhood, I was struck because I realized that this career would help me to administer myself, a business or a company. With the help of the HOPE scholarship, I will fulfill my dreams and my goals. As inspiration, I have my mom, who is a single mother and has made her effort and performance so I can realize my goals, and thus, can succeed in life.

Thanks for all the help that the program has given me the opportunity to continue my studies.

Richard, 19, Manila, Philippines

From Richard’s essay:

Education is very important for me and also for everyone. It may be a simple word but it means everything. It can change you for a better future. Education has been my instrument in achieving my goals in life. With the help and support of my family, my dear sponsor and, of course, Children International – Manila, I am now able to continue my studies.

I am truly very blessed to be one of thousands of sponsored youth who is a recipient of the HOPE scholarship. This has helped me not only through financial support, but also in giving me hope for a better future. This hope would seem to be elusive and impossible if I were not chosen to be one of the sponsored youth of Children International.

I am truly grateful to this organization and my great sponsor. The scholarship has given me the chance to change myself, the chance to go back to school and study, and the chance to gain the hope to go on and seek my dreams. They made me realize that my education is one of the great keys to success and happiness.

Today, I am inspired to study because I know that I am not alone. Prior to becoming a recipient of this good program, I have been an active youth leader, volunteering for CI's Youth Health Corps program. I have given my time to help different kids in the community centers, where I was able to share accurate and comprehensive information with regards to reproductive health and substance abuse, which are big issues that people of my age are facing. This gave me the opportunity to help others and myself too.

Without CI – Manila, my chance for a better future would have been impossible. My parents are not able to fully support my educational needs, as I have eight siblings; my future never seemed very clear. But then, I am fortunate that I was chosen as one of the beneficiaries of this organization. The support and encouragement is very much appreciated. With the chance to study public administration in college through CI – Manila's HOPE scholarship program, I see myself as part of the future generation's good public servants. I imagine myself standing in front of a crowd, proudly serving my countrymen, with full integrity. Their voice is my voice, and I want to give to others what I have received, too. I will be a good role model and a responsible leader of my country.

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