At the end of 2019, we announced that five graduates from our Próximo Paso (Next Step) program were chosen to receive scholarships from TELUS, a local telecommunications company that we partner with. The scholarship, Helping Our People through Education (HOPE), allows students in Central America to learn English and strengthen their job skills, so that they can enter the workforce successfully. Students are also offered a stipend with the scholarship, so they can focus on their success.

Check out this video on the HOPE program:

With the arrival of the pandemic, the program had to shift focus, which required the participants to adapt quickly and learn remote technology. Though it was a difficult adjustment for the students in the program, they persevered. 

We are happy to report that four students successfully completed the program, equipped with new skills to help them transition into the workforce. Three were hired directly by TELUS! One scholarship participant was unable to finish the program last year as a result of challenges brought on by the pandemic, but with the help of the Próximo Paso team, she is working on rejoining the program at a later point.

We are thrilled to have partners like TELUS, who are helping our graduates prepare to take on great jobs in Guatemala City, setting them on a pathway out of poverty for themselves and their families. 

Below are pictures of Samuel Tocay, one of the students hired by TELUS, and the original group of students that received scholarships. 

Executive Director Trae Holland (far left), Next Step coordinator Jayro Barahona (center), TELUS employee Rosy Flores (far right), with scholarship recipients (from left) Karla Sajche, Brendy Dieguez, Emely Zacarias, Pablo Ayapan, and Samuel Tocay