I launched the Educarte program in 2016 to give children in this community the opportunity to reach their potential and thrive later in life. My local team and I began by providing at-risk young people with the resources and support they needed to go to school and succeed in the classroom. Thanks to generous support from so many of you, together we have accomplished so much:
- We have provided well over 1000 local students with access to educational opportunities that can help them transform their futures.
- Hundreds of our students were able to graduate from high school and thirty-two of them have now graduated from college.
- Forty-nine more students are currently in college and nine of those are on track to graduate this year.
- Hundreds of younger students were provided with the daily support they needed to be able to overcome barriers preventing them from accessing educational opportunities. Many of them no longer need our support.
Every Child Deserves to Reach Their Full Potential
As our Educarte program grew, each year we found ourselves supporting more children with special needs. Like many developing countries, Mexico has struggled to provide for the needs of children with disabilities. In Rocky Point a lack of comprehensive, professional services leaves most children with disabilities without access to the support they need to reach their potential and participate fully in life.
The CATI Clinic and a Shift in Focus
In 2021 we made a big commitment to these families by opening a clinic to give children with special needs the professional therapies and psychological support they desperately need. It has been incredible to see these kids receive the consistent support they need to begin to reach their potential. Soon after opening the clinic, it was clear that we had just begun to scrape the surface as far as meeting the needs of children with disabilities in the community. It also became clear that, because they are the most vulnerable and underserved young people in the community, these are the kids who need us the most. So, in January my local Educarte team and I decided that this is where we would focus our efforts moving forward.
A School of Their Own
Unlike in the United States, public schools in Mexico are not required to serve children who need special education services. As we began to focus on these kids, we discovered that most of them are not able to attend their local public schools. Meanwhile, the one government funded school in Rocky Point able to serve children with special needs can only accept a very small percentage of students who apply. It was heartbreaking to learn that most of these young people spend their days at home isolated from their peers and without access to important educational opportunities that can help them develop and thrive. So, this past March our team launched a pilot project to begin offering a daily education program for students with special needs. We hope to grow this one classroom into a private school serving many more very special children.
My Birthday Wish
June is my birthday month and this year I have only one wish: to be able to serve more students at both our CATI Clinic and new special education program. My birthday is on the 21st so my goal is to find 21 people who will join me in making a recurring monthly donation to support a child with special needs. Your monthly sponsorship of any amount will help us show these kids and their families that they have not been forgotten. One-time or monthly recurring donations can be made at www.educarteaim.org.