I was a sponsored child with Food for the Hungry. I grew up in the community of Saraxoch, in Guatemala. My parents never went to school, and they always struggled to find stable work, but they made my education a priority. That's why I studied hard to prove to them that they were not wasting money on me.
There was no middle school in Saraxoch, so when I finished sixth grade, FH helped me and the other children in my class continue our studies through a study-at-home program in partnership with an institution called America Latina. After graduating from middle school, FH provided me a scholarship so I could go to the city of Coban to finish high school.
I graduated from high school with a specialty in bilingual education and, almost immediately, found a job as a primary teacher in my community. But I did not stop there. I enrolled in the university to get a higher degree, supporting myself with my salary as a teacher. I am the first in my community to reach this level of education. Today, I am a middle-school teacher. I help support my younger siblings so they can also achieve their dreams.
I thank Food for the Hungry for all the support and encouragement I received since I was in grade school. I won't forget that very crucial moment when a staff member read Joshua 1:9 to me:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
I memorized this passage as a child, and it was the hope that carried me through some very difficult times. It's my all-time favorite verse.