Student Stories: Meet Maida & Gabriela

Meet Maida & Gabriela, two students at Safe Passage who recently received scholarships from our partner, Shared Beat. The work of Shared Beat includes providing both preventative healthcare programs in local schools and scholarships for Guatemalans who want to be healthcare professionals. 

 

Maida

After losing her father at a young age, education was out of reach for Maida, as her mother struggled with the costs. It was then that she found Safe Passage.

Maida started studying with Safe Passage 9 years ago and her goal is to use her scholarship to attend university next spring for Medical Sciences. Education is extremely important to Maida because she sees the need for more medical workers in her community and how the lack of access to healthcare affects the most vulnerable people.

With courses in computer science and English, Maida feels prepared to move on to the next level in her studies, focusing on her education so that she can set an example for her young nephews. She wants to show them that anyone can achieve their goals, no matter their origin.

Maida describes her time at Safe Passage as an enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding experience and one that will serve her well in the future. 

“I have met many young people with the same situation as mine, which makes me feel like part of a family, sheltered, and with a greater intention to one day give back even a little of everything I have been able to receive.” She is a girl full of dreams who has shown incredible resilience and dedication to her studies. In the future, she hopes to support children with cancer. 

 

Gabriela

Having four daughters to support made education unaffordable for Gabriela’s family; however Gabriela’s mother knew the importance of education so she sought the help of Safe Passage. 

Gabriela studied with Safe Passage for five years, graduating in 2019. She now attends the Mariano Galvez University, where she studies Medical Sciences and plans to use her scholarship to further her studies in the healthcare field. She wants to be able to support and serve others because she believes that this is her purpose in life. 

Gabriela credits Safe Passage with helping her become the person that she is today and describes her time in the program as “unforgettable.” Without the program, she believes she would not have been able to finish her education. 

In her own words, “I learned so much and was formed as a person; it was a great opportunity and a wonderful experience. When I graduated with Safe Passage, I just wanted to return part of what they gave me for so many years.”