Irma successfully completed her first year of secondary school, and continues to pioneer a new path among the women in her family. Marilena, Irma’s mentor, reports that Irma continues to confront and overcome the daunting obstacles in her path. In addition to passing all of her classes and becoming the first woman in her family get to secondary school, Irma thrived in her weekly mentorship sessions.
Irma was the beneficiary of an Empowerment Scholarship from Givology followers. Starfish students meet weekly with a 15-member peer group. In addition to providing important academic support, these 3-hour sessions also equipped Irma with an awareness of her rights, an ability to manage her personal finances, awareness of her body and reproductive system, how to think critically and communicate assertively, and how to access community resources. Irma now has her own personal savings account where she manages her scholarship funds.
Irma still faces a long road. Her mother’s abuse of alcohol has lessened however there was a recent setback. Irma is the primary breadwinner for her family of 8, and she spent her school vacation working in Guatemala City patting out tortillas to earn some money for the family.
But Irma is gaining momentum. She is the informal spokeswoman for her group, and recently led her group in a folkloric dance exhibition at an all-Starfish event. Her dream is to become a doctor to serve her community.
Irma Tzay Julajuj's Blog
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