Steps for Students

Thanks for Helping Us Send Six Guatemalan Students To The Summer English Institute

We are Alvaro and Florinda, and we are students from mountain villages in rural Guatemala. Our childhoods were very difficult. We didn't have money to continue school, but we had the spirit to fight for our dreams. 

Thanks to the visionary local founders of a Guatemalan high school scholarship program called Forging My Tomorrow, we won the opportunities to attend high school and study English, and we graduated in 2017.

 Alvaro

Alvaro

 Florinda

Florinda

In the summer of 2017, we won more scholarships to study at the Summer English Institute in California. It's a one-month intensive English program, with students gathering from around the world. It showed us that it's difficult, but not impossible, if we work hard enough.

 Alvaro

Alvaro

 Florinda

Florinda

SEI prepared us to win more scholarships, and we are now attending a university-preparation program in British Columbia, Canada. It's been a great challenge for us, and we are improving our English and technology skills, building towards our futures.

 Arriving in Vancouver, Canada, with an Olympic welcome

Arriving in Vancouver, Canada, with an Olympic welcome

Five of our friends from our villages in Guatemala recently interviewed for and won full scholarships to the 2018 Summer English Institute in California this July.

This will be the first time for any of them to travel to the USA, or even outside Guatemala.

You invested to help us buy them airline tickets to California, passports, and visas, which cost about $1200 USD per student. 

April 15 Update: Thank you for helping us raise over $12,000 Canadian, which let us partner with SEI for a sixth scholarship for Angelica, as well as her travel costs! We appreciate you!

2018 Summer English Institute Scholarship Winners:

 Angela

Angela

 Francisco

Francisco

 Olga

Olga

 Silvia

Silvia

 Carlos

Carlos

 Angelica

Angelica

Steps For Students: Half-Marathon Fundraiser

How You Helped: On April 7, we ran a Steps for Students Team Half-Marathon in multiple locations:

  • Bentonville, Arkansas, USA (four of our friends who won university scholarships there, and their American friends)
  • Antigua, Guatemala (two of our friends who landed jobs with an American technology company, and their friends)
  • Panajachel, Guatemala (the 27 younger students in our program, including the five SEI winners)
  • Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada (we will run with all our Canadian friends)
  • Lake Country, British Columbia, Canada (many of our English House friends)

There will be other costs along the way, like spending money for the students in California, and you are welcome to contribute towards those items. Thanks!

Your donations are tax-deductible, and will go straight to any other travel costs for the 6 winners.

American donations will be receipted by our partner Wheaton Academy Network, organizer of SEI. Please type "SEI Guatemala" in the Comments box. Canadian donations will be receipted by our partner MMF.

Click below to help:

SEI helped me believe in myself, and now I know I can do anything.
— Florinda Coj, SEI 2017, Scholarship Winner in Canada

Watch below to see how English and SEI have been helping us transform our lives:

 

 

Thanks to my SEI 2016 experience, I was able to win a business analyst role with an American Salesforce cloud technology company, working in English with American clients every day.
— Lidia Lopic, SEI 2016, Analyst, Torrent Consulting
SEI 2016 was a life-changing experience for me, giving me confidence. It doesn’t matter if we come from a little village, if we never give up.
— Mayra Matzar, SEI 2016, Walton Scholarship Winner at John Brown University
SEI gave me the tools to win my Walton Scholarship, and now I am studying International Business in the USA.
— Tono Ajcalon, SEI 2016, Walton Scholarship Winner at John Brown University
My favourite part of SEI 2017 was the robotics class, where I learned to program and command robots, all in English.
— Alvaro Coj, SEI 2017, Scholarship Winner in Canada