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Aura Hernandez, College Graduate? Yes she CAN!

26 January 2011 4 Comments

My hands quiver a little bit as I type this. OK, so maybe it’s partially due to my office being freezing cold today…but the other reason is that my sponsored child is about to do the unthinkable… the impossible even! Not only will she graduate her three year secondary school program to become a teacher at the end of 2011 (unheard of for a girl from a village whose schooling only goes up to grade 8!) but soon she just may be a college student, and dare I say it- a college graduate!!

Kristen visiting Aura in Guatemala in 2006

Aura recently sent me a letter thanking myself and the Aura’s House donors for making it possible to continue her education beyond 8th grade. Visit Aura’s Tuition Project. She also mentioned in the letter that she wished to continue her education and go on to University.

My heart dropped. Surely I wouldn’t be able to fund raise for her University education as well. It would be too expensive. Right?
Wrong! Today I was pleasantly surprised by an email from Children International’s Vickie Wiedenmann. In her letter she writes:

Hi, Kristen.  As you requested, I wrote to our agency in Guatemala and asked them for the estimated costs for Aura to continue her education by attending the university.  I was pleased to learn that the costs are quite affordable!

Aura would very much like the opportunity to continue studying Language and Literature, if at all possible.  She would attend classes on the weekends, and work during the weeks.  Public university degrees in Guatemala are usually obtained after 5 years of education.  Unfortunately, there are no scholarships or financial aid at the university at this time.

The estimated costs are as follows:

$30 per year for Enrollment Fees

$72 per year for Transportation expenses

$126 per year for books and some supplies

The total per year is $228, and the estimated total for the five-year period is $1,140.  Obviously, these costs may increase some over the next five years, but I can’t imagine that any increases would be significant.

Let me know if you have any additional questions, Kristen!  And, thanks again for everything you have done for Aura and the many children and families featured on your website!

Vickie


As you can imagine, it would be almost criminal (in my opinion) not to try to fund this hardworking girl’s college education considering how little it costs for someone used to seeing 5 digit yearly tuition fees in her own country. My goal is to fund Aura’s first year of University myself and raise the rest for the additional four years via Aura’s House. So as not to jump any projects already on our waiting list, I have asked our Project Coordinator, Courtenay Honeycutt to add it to the end of the line.

Thanks in advance for your support and for all you’ve done to not only help Aura get a new home, but to give her the opportunity to study and realize her dreams. I will be forever grateful.

Best,
Kristen

4 Comments »

  • Barbara said:

    That is wonderful news Kristen. Aura is one lucky girl to have you as her sponsor but you must be so proud of her own achievements. Congratulations to both of you. Best Wishes Barbara Rogers

  • Anastasia said:

    HOW EXCITING!!! I am absolutely thrilled at this news. I would never have imagined that a college education would be so inexpensive in Latin America – though, granted, I am looking at the price via the eyes of an American (who also paid five figures a year for her college degree).

    Though the price does not seem high to us, I know it is sadly out of reach for Aura as well as the vast majority of Guatemalans…but thanks to the generosity of Kristen and Aura’s House donors, we will make this happen for her!!!

  • Kristen (author) said:

    Thanks! I AM so proud of her. -And I’m still in shock. I thought for sure the expenses for University would be more than I could handle. -But $1400 and change for 5 years is extremely doable. I do agree with Ana though that in Guatemala that is no small amount and for many, higher education is out of reach.

    -But at least for Aura, it looks like her dream may become a reality. -And with her kind heart, I know she will give back to her community and help others as well.

  • Chrystal said:

    Wow, that’s great news. I actually have a sponsor child in Guatemala and I am currently paying for her first year in secondary school which cost $524 for the year. The University seems a lot more affordable. I pray that my sponsored child will do well in school too.

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