Tamara Mercado from the community of El Comején 1, Masaya, Nicaragua, is just one of the many students whose life was changed by Bridges’ education program in 2019. Tamara has always been motivated and had goals for her life. However, due to her family’s financial situation, getting a university degree seemed to be unreachable; her family of seven live off her father’s modest salary of about $152 monthly as a community patrolman.
Most of the young women Tamara’s age are also unable to study at university due to their economic circumstances; though many finish high school, they often look for work in the free trade zones to help sustain their families.
All of this changed when Tamara applied and was accepted into the Bridges scholarship program to study education. Currently, Tamara is in her second year of studies at the Mari Mazarrello Center of Studies in Managua. She says, “I was inspired to become a teacher by a wonderful teacher I had in high school who taught me so much. I love spending time with children, and I want to be able to teach them all that I have learned. I want my students to receive a quality education. Specifically, I want to teach them that respect, self-esteem, and responsibility are important to their development. I want them to become young people who achieve their goals.”
In addition to working hard at school, all of our scholarship students reinvest time in our partner communities, supporting public health, micro-financing, and environmental programs. Tamara teaches second grade at the El Buen Samaritano School in her community as a teaching intern in the mornings, Monday through Friday. She also helps increase literacy by tutoring elders who do not know how to read or write. Tamara says, “It makes me so happy to be able to help with this because literacy is a problem in our society that I can help solve. It makes me happy to know that I can teach those who never had the opportunity to attend school but who want to learn.”
Tamara is exceptionally grateful to Bridges; without this scholarship, she would not be able to study at university. She says, “Thank you for opening the door for me to get my degree. Thank you to everyone who makes the scholarship program possible – for trusting us scholarship students and investing in our futures.”
Together, we can change the lives of more people like Tamara. Our education program, along with our other programs in health, housing, and economic development, lift families out of poverty and make our partner communities stronger. Thanks to your generosity, we’ve positively impacted the lives of more than 4,500 people this year.
Help us change more lives in 2020 by donating today.