Erick Patzán Ramírez is a hard worker. Now 17 and in his fifth (or junior) year at Pedro Molina High School, Erick wants to use his academic skills and knowledge to pursue a career in Computer Technology after graduation. The oldest of four siblings, Erick is on track to be the first of his family to finish school.
Erick’s value of “work hard to reach your goals in life” was encouraged early on by his parents. His family runs a small bakery out of their home in La Alameda, Chimaltenango. After school, Erick and his siblings help his father prepare and sell bread. His mother works as a housemaid during the day and returns home to work in the bakery after hours.
Because families such as Erick’s lack the financial resources for their kids to continue beyond primary school, many drop out so they can help provide more immediate support for their family. Most never even begin high school, let alone finish.
Erik is able to go to school because of a scholarship he receives through FUNDIT, Child Aid’s non-profit partner in the town El Tejar, Guatemala. FUNDIT (Foundation for the Integral Development of El Tejar) consists of a Montessori-type preschool, a community library, a music program and the Ethical Bean Scholarship Fund, which serves primary, middle and high school age kids.
Named after the Vancouver, BC coffee company that supports it, the Ethical Bean Scholarship Fund helps over 100 Guatemalan students like Erick pay for books, uniforms, school fees and supplies. Scholarship students are also encouraged to participate in volunteer and mentoring activities in other FUNDIT programs.
Last month, Erick volunteered the most hours of any scholarship student in the El Tejar library. “Erick is a big contributor and helps out all year long with our library’s reading program,” says Silvia García, FUNDIT’s Executive Director. “Erick loves school. He wants to study and graduate so he can make a better life for himself and his family.”
Because of the educational opportunities provided by Child Aid and the Ethical Bean Scholarship Fund, Erick’s dreams will soon become a reality, and he can help his family break the cycle of poverty. Way to go, Erick!