Post-secondary education has the power to break the cycle of poverty for students, their families, and entire communities. When iTeams Canada first began their partnership with Carmen Bajo Church in Ecuador, there were no post-secondary students in the community. Today, Impact Ecuador supports 13 post-secondary students in Carmen Bajo through the Sarah Marr Memorial Scholarship program, established in honour of Impact Ecuador's long-time volunteer champion, who passed away last year from cancer.
Each one of these students plays an important role in their community and in the ministry of the church as they grow as leaders, discover their passions, and pursue their education. Joel is one of those students. After graduating from high school, he did an internship through his church that helped him grow emotionally and spiritually. Joel said “For me, the time I spent in the program made me rethink my relationship with God and with other people, seeking to always live with integrity, to take care of my health, my mind, and to learn to accept myself as I am. Also, I learned to have more empathy for others, to open my eyes, and to clarify what I wanted to study.”
Today, Joel is working towards an electronics degree at a technical institute. He continues to serve at his church and assist with the ministry of Impact Ecuador, and he hopes that his education will allow him to provide for his family and continue to impact his community.
Thanks to the generosity of the iTeams Canada community, Joel is just one of many at Impact Ecuador that demonstrates how the scholarship program is helping transform the lives of young people in Carmen Bajo. Participants in last month's Sarah's Ride for Ecuador raised almost $35,000, which will cover costs for the 13 students currently enrolled in post-secondary programs and provide opportunities to others as they graduate from high school.
Access to education gives young leaders like Joel a brighter future. Donate today to help support vulnerable students as they pursue their education!