Building special relationships – Danielle Skogen, Padrino Program Coordinator

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Dulce Anita’s face lit up when she heard the news: she had been finally been matched up with a Padrino. I could not wait to tell her the best part; her new Padrino (sponsor) was her former English teacher. Dulce jumped with excitement hugging me and telling me she could not wait to start writing to Seño Andrea and that she has missed her so much.

Her former English teacher, Seño Andrea, was equally excited to be able to continue to build a relationship with Dulce. During her time teaching  Dulce, Andrea noticed a lack of confidence and enthusiasm in the sweet girl. When Seño Andrea began working with her, it became very clear that this young girl was maybe not receiving adequate motivation and support from her home. She lacked confidence in her skills, intelligence and sense of character. However, over the 5 months Andrea was teaching her, Andrea was able to see such an improvement. With Andrea’s caring and positive support Dulce slowly started to turn a new leaf. She began smiling more in class, participating in activities and even speaking in front of her peers. Over her time volunteering, Seño Andrea was able to see a quiet, sad girl grow into a student who cared about her learning and believed in herself and her abilities.

When I asked Andrea why she was choosing to re-connect with our programs she responded: “I wanted to work with Dulce so she realized her amazing potential. Too often in this culture, children, girls especially, are given the feeling that they are not good enough. I wanted to work with all my students, including Dulce, to show them that they are worth it, that they are able. These children are amazing. They deserve to feel motivated. They deserve to feel supported. They deserve to feel loved. By being a Padrino I am able to continue to provide this for Dulce, even if I am not longer in Guatemala”

As Padrino Program Coordinator, I have the privilege of seeing new relationships like this one form all the time. Whether you are a former volunteer, visitor or simply believe in our programs, becoming a Padrino not only allows you to continue to not only support our programs, but also continue to build a lasting relationship with a student in our schools.

Become a Padrino today! Visit our website http://www.ninosdeguatemala.org and fill out an application online now! For more information email our Padrino Program Coordinator directly at padrino@ninosdeguatemala.org

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