Below is an installment in a series that showcases the hopes, dreams, and interests of individual students in our CAA Scholarship (beca) program.
Upon realizing that she would be unable to attend the University of Technology, Elena decided to take a job with the Cleveland Clinic Call Center. They gave her her own computer, installed very fast WiFi in her apartment in San Ramón, and then with a bit of training, she was off! Within nine months, she was training other Ticos new to the call center as well as taking three classes in the sciences and pre-medicine at the Universidad Americana in Heredia.
In Costa Rica, it is very unusual for college students to work even part-time while attending classes, but Elena manages to work a 40-hour week AND also pursue her academic dreams.
UAM is a private university where many students interested in medical and health careers study even though it is expensive to attend—certainly by Costa Rican standards! However, she is managing to both work and make A’s and I certainly expect her to ultimately reach her goals. She is an excellent example of the kind of students we see in our Beca Program every year who are learning how to set goals, work toward achieving them, and when meeting roadblocks like Elena did, finding a different route toward success. What a privilege it has been to witness this and to help these students achieve their goals through our donations—both money and time—and because of the personal relationships we develop with them through the years. I can’t wait to see Elena become a doctor one day or researcher one day. Who knows? Maybe she will discover a “cure” for aging.
Speaking of “reaching goals,” CAA has initiated the current session of tutoring for our 11th grade students (final year of high school in Costa Rica) in our Beca Program with 10 weeks of preparation for the entrance exams to the public universities in Costa Rica. Because most of them lost almost two years due to Covid, it is obvious they are not ready academically for these difficult exams. The Education Committee has been able to pay for the current group of high school seniors to attend three hours of exam preparation every Saturday for 10 weeks at MG Capitacion here in San Ramón. We hope that this tutoring and further tutoring in English, Math, Reading/Reasoning, and Chemistry will continue through this academic year and that these students will then be able to achieve their goals of a college education. Thanks to all our members for helping them be successful.
~Marian Latham, CAA Education Committee
*The name has been changed to protect the identity of the student.