David and Nancy Slinde Speaking at their "Sending Service"

Monday, March 6, 2017

March 2017 - We are once again writing from home with great updates.

We are joyful about the grade level promotions and achievements we witnessed at the end of the 2016.  For these three-year academic programs, we have done a lot of fundraising, anticipating strong outcomes for the lives of the students.  Our hope was not disappointed.  A total of 129 students graduated and are continuing on to improve their future with education or employment.

In 2014, we received a grant for community development in the departments of Usulut├ín and San Miguel.  It included three modules, one of which was for scholarships for youth to attend the Technology Institute in Usulut├ín.

Ten students who had completed high school were selected as qualified for this opportunity; 2 dropped out early in the process.  Another student was selected who chose to attend the University in San Miguel where she continues for one more year.  Eight students completed their studies in December and participated in the graduation ceremony held on February 24, 2017.  Without their diplomas they couldn’t apply for higher level work.

5 studied Computer Engineering
1 studied to be an Auto Mechanic
1 studied for Tourism
1 studied for Marketing

We met with them shortly after they enrolled at the Institute. The first picture below is at that meeting.  We asked them what they hoped or expected to happen after graduation.  A couple wanted to start a business and the others just wanted a good job.  Finding secure work is a major issue.  Their families can offer little support as they are often not educated and do not have networks to help their children seek employment.

The second picture is their graduation day that was taken and emailed to us. The Auto Mechanic is missing from the picture but he did earn his degree.  We had to study the pictures closely as some of the students have transformed into mature young men and women.  Hair styles changed and they grew taller.




Additional graduations took place in San Luis Talpa where 41 ninth grade students not only graduated but were all accepted into high school.  Thirteen could not attend because of the cost of $300 per year.  We fundraised to provide scholarships for these students.  Some of these 13 students come from difficult family situations where it’s expected they work to support the family and forget about more education.  

Finally (but not really), 80 little ones in San Luis Talpa “graduated” from pre-school and are now attending kindergarten to begin their education journey.

David y Nancy

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