Tia Katy’s Column June 2021

Jun 3, 2021 by Tia Katy's Corner

Why I Do What I Do!

I am frequently asked why I continue to invest so much of my time, energy, and resources in helping kids in Mexico go to school. My answer is always: “I keep going because these kids matter. I believe every one of them is full of greatness and they deserve the opportunity to realize their potential.”

When I started this program in 2016, that first year we supported 72 students from kindergarten through college. We are now supporting more than 600 students and our waiting list continues to grow. Each year it takes more and more of my time, energy and financial resources to keep the program going and I am frequently asked, “Is it worth it?” Every time I hear that question, I find myself wishing that more people had the chance to get to know and hear the stories of even a few of our students. Last month I shared the stories of a few of our students and this month I want to share a few more.

Meet Marifer: Marifer had just completed 6th grade and her brother Lennin had one year left in high school when their stay-at-home-mother suddenly became a single parent. Both were exceptional students. However, with their mother now struggling to meet even their basic needs they were faced with dropping out of school. Fortunately, we were able to accept both into our program to provide the support they desperately needed. Today Marifer is a high school honor student who plans on going on to college. Lennin not only graduated from high school but, with our continued support, he entered college to study business. After his first year in college his grades were so good that he received an academic scholarship. When he learned about his scholarship he was so excited to tell us that he no longer needed our support so that we could use these funds to help another student like him. You can see Lennin and Merifer’s story on YouTube at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l_59Qhqz15k.

Marifer and her proud brother and mother at her middle school graduation

Meet Lluvia: Tragically, one of our young students lost both of her parents to COVID on the same day. Not only do we continue to support 9-year-old Lluvia’s education, but the psychologist on our local team is providing her with psychological and emotional support as she deals with this unimaginable loss. We were completely blown away when Lluvia and her aunt and uncle recently arrived at our offices to deliver a very special gift. Lluvia’s father had collected superhero action figures and she wanted to donate them to our program. Her hope was that we could auction off this collection to raise funds to help more kids in the community. Exceptional, compassionate young people like Lluvia keep all of us motivated to keep doing what we do!

Lluvia and her aunt and uncle delivering a very special gift

Finally, I wanted to share something that one of our middle school students posted after her graduation. Translated her message reads: “Do not go where the road leads you. Go, instead, where there is no road and leave a trail.”

We are very proud of the hundreds of dedicated, resilient students we support who are working so hard to transform their futures through education. We are also proud that these young people are setting such a wonderful example for others to follow. None of this would be possible without the many generous donors who continue to support our efforts to provide young people in Rocky Point with a path out of poverty through education. We are grateful to every one of you!

You can support our program or sponsor a student at www.stepsoflove.org.

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