Thanksgiving has always been a time for me to reflect on all that I have to be grateful for. However, before I founded the Educarte program my list did not include my sons having had access to a free public-school education through high school. I was surprised and heartbroken to learn that the cost to attend public high school in Mexico leaves an estimated 70% of the youth in Rocky Point unable to continue their education past middle school. I was even more heartbroken to learn that many families are not able to send their children even to grade school due to a lack of resources. As a parent, I honestly cannot imagine having to choose between meeting my family’s basic needs and sending my kids to school. So, in 2016 I started the Educarte program to help provide more young people in this community with access to educational opportunities that can help them transform their futures.
It is hard to believe that in just six years we have grown from supporting 72 students to more than 800 students. While this is very exciting, quite honestly, I sometimes find myself overwhelmed by the tremendous responsibility leading this program has become. Thankfully, however, the frequent very special messages of gratitude I receive from students and parents keeps me motivated to continue going and growing this program
Since Thanksgiving is upon us, I thought I would share a couple of the messages of thanks that I have received from families we support.
From a mother of four boys who, along with her husband, works full time. Unfortunately, together they earn only about $80 USD a week which is not enough to keep all four boys in school:
“I always tell my boys, the only thing that will bring you a better life is education. Now that we are in this program we feel as if we matter. We no longer have to choose between sending our kids to work or to school. Thanks to you and thanks to God this is no longer our case. We are so thankful for this opportunity.”
From a single mother who works full time cleaning houses. Six years ago, her oldest son was a straight ‘A’ student faced with dropping out after his junior year of high school due to lack of funds. Thanks to our support, today he has not only graduated from high school, but he recently graduated from college with a degree in Civil Engineering:
“I am so grateful to you honestly. In other places there is no support like this. That is why so many here grow up without finishing their education. Many times, they don’t even have the money to buy a single pencil and that is the sad truth. I feel so grateful that my son was able continue his education and has a bright future. Thanks to you he doesn’t have to be like so many of us here working for little money and with no hope for a better life.
From an eight-year-old who attends one of our homework clubs:
“Tia Katy, thank you so much for all the help and support you give us and the time you dedicate to each child in this club. We love you very much.”
And now my message of thanks:
“This Thanksgiving I am incredibly thankful for the many donors and volunteers who have joined me in this effort to give kids from this community hope for a better future through education.”
If you would like to make a one-time donation or sponsor a student in our program, go to www.esperancamexico.org
A sweet note I received from an 8-year-old student.
A box of beautiful letters I recently received from some of our younger students.
Hugs from our students are one of the best gifts I receive.