Monday, December 13, 2010

Scholarship Student Spotlight- Sebastian Chan Sen

Sorry, we have not written in awhile.  We have had a busy couple of weeks, but good weeks with one day hosting the ABC Celebration which we will blog about later (you can also see Sheri's blog for more ABC Celebration information and pictures - 

Today is our last day of clinics for 2010.  Some of our staff finished up on Friday and we are hosting one more clinic with Marcos to finish up some dental patients and to get in another clinic before we close. 

Originally we were going to stay in Guatemala over the holidays: however, plans have changed and we are excited to be leaving to spend some time with family on the 18th of December.

This year we only had one student graduate from the Sherman Scholarship program here in Chichicastenango - Sebastian Chan Sen from Xepocol.  We have a another graduate Juan Rafael Leon who is a pre-medicine student who graduated from a school in Santa Cruz del Quiche.   Sebastian is the third student to graduate from the Sherman Scholarship program in this community.  The first was Gaspar's son (HTI Health Promoter), Tomas, who is now working part-time as a teacher and part-time as a data manager in a local health department.  The second is Ana Maria Canil who graduated as a bookkeeper and is a mom of 2.  She is currently seeking employment.  We are very appreciative of the scholarship program sponsored by Health Talents International and it's donors as it is making a difference in the communities. 

Sebastian with his parents, Juan and Maria.

Sebastian's father, Juan, has only a 1st grade education, barely speaks any spanish and only works as a day laborer and farmer in their community of Xepocol.  Mom only has a 4th grade education.  Through the scholarship program, Sebastian has graduated as a teacher and has aspirations of heading to dental school in the future. 

Sebastian has 4 brothers, of which 2, Tomas and Julio, will start high school this year.  Tomas will be starting high school this year as a Sherman Scholarship recipient and Julio is sponsored through the ABC program.  Julio looks like he is about 13 years old, but he is 16.  Mom and dad wanted to keep him from starting high school since he is so small, but he would have none of that idea and is ready to start along with Tomas.  The other 2 sons, Esteban and Emilio are both in middle school, also with aspirations of continuing to high school.  Julio, Esteban and Emilio all excel in school with averages in the 80's which is very good for Chichicastenango where an average in the 70's would normally be the norm for high grades.  Imagine, how this can change the environment and oppurtunities for this family, their community and their church.

Julio is on the left and Tomas on the right

Many have heard us speak highly of the story of the church in Xepocol.  It is because of families like this who are looking for oppurtunities for their children and then see the importance of applying their gifts to the service of the local community and the church that will help the churches grow and the communities develop.  The church of Christ in Xepocol currently has more than 10 students either in high school or entering high school.  5 years ago they had 1 student in high school and with no other candidates thinking it would be possible.  Not all of these students are on a scholarship, nor in the ABC program, so that could mean that the families in the church are dedicated to helping others also finish school.  God is good....

Please continue to pray for this family as they continue to work in the church and in their community.

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