In their third blog update, our EEI teachers Anna and Samantha discuss the academic and personal projects they have been working on with each of the four scholars in Medellín.
As our time in Medellin comes to an end we have been taking the time to reflect back on the goals we had set for ourselves and for the scholars back in January. In both high school and college both of us can recall the goals we set and the people that helped us carry them out. As our professional and personal roles have developed over time with the scholars, we made it our mission to help them determine in what ways CBOB can help them beyond just the idea of receiving an academic scholarship. After all, the whole point of the program is for them to give back to their community, and every time we meet with them, we realize more and more what they have already accomplished personally and with CBOB.
To start, this semester we have been so excited to see their CBOB project come to life week by week. They decided they wanted to implement a college preparation program at their former high school with a group of 20 or so students who were looking for help with the college process. Each week they prepare activities in three different areas: preparing for the college entrance exam, tutoring for their current math and science classes, and understanding the college system - what different majors are available to them, how to adjust to taking classes on your own schedule, and more. The program has a similar feel to New Horizons, the program where they all started their CBOB journey six years ago. New Horizons was designed as a mentorship program where they were given the tools for future college success, and it has served as a fundamental building block for our scholars’ education. We’ve talked at length with some of scholars about how being a part of CBOB and attending university has changed their lives. It’s made them realize what they want out of life, and what they’re capable of accomplishing. To watch them stand in front of a class of students and share their stories about how education has changed everything for them felt incredibly surreal. To watch them give tangible resources to these students and give some of them a chance at a brighter future filled us both with so much pride for them and for our organization. Seemingly small acts of service can lead to great successes, and these boys are creating change in an incredible way.
As each of them nears graduation in the next few years, we’ve opened the conversation for what comes next after CBOB. Each of them has different aspirations, but the common theme is that everyone would like to learn more English and have the opportunity to study abroad some day. Additionally, some of them would like to pursue a Master’s Degree in the future, but just like so many of us in the United States, a much deserved break post Undergrad seems to be more likely for the immediate future. We’ve taken the time to map out a timeline for each of them and set some realistic sights on what will be possible in the future. They have been doing their research, and what they are finding is promising. Regardless of what they end up doing, the work that has been put in these past six years with CBOB has solidified that with an education, everything can, and will change.
Until next time,
Samantha & Anna