Emili Arriana Navarrete Eugarrios is in 6th grade in the 2022 school year. We met her through our contact Ashley, who worked with her in the Amigos en Accion program. Ashley spoke so highly of Emili that we wanted to meet her. Christa visited her and her mother and older sister with Ashley during her visit in December, and in April of 2022, we received an application for her. The board voted quickly to accept her and we are excited to start this journey with her.
To express a bit about Emili, it’s best to use Ashley’s letter of recommendation:
I am writing this letter to you to recommend Emili Ariana Navarrete Eugarrios for a scholarship from your foundation. I have known Emili personally for the past three years, since she has participated in the program Amigos en Acción that I run here in El Sauce alongside an El Sauce native, Martha Rojas. I met Emili’s family six years ago, when Emili’s older sister began participating in Amigos en Acción, and have had the pleasure of getting to work with Emili these past two years in the program. Emili lives with her mother, her 15 year old sister Angie Michel, and her older brother.
Emili comes from a humble family that has endured its share of obstacles. Emili’s parents have recently divorced, which has definitely caused stress for her, her mother Heydi, and her sister. Emili’s father is supposed to pay child support but has yet to do so, and as a result, Heydi struggles to make ends meet to ensure that Emili and her siblings’ needs are met. Heydi works as a nail stylist. She expressed that the past years have been extremely difficult because of the pandemic, drastically reducing her ability to continue with her business because of the fear of contagion; people were fearful of visiting Heydi’s home to get their nails done or having her visit their own home. However, she does her best to work when she is able to provide for her family, even while struggling with her own mental health issues as a result of the divorce. Despite these struggles, Emili and her family are very united and support each other beautifully.
It has been such a pleasure to get to know and teach Emili these past two years at Amigos en Acción. Emili is quiet, but she has proven to be a natural leader whose leadership and teaching skills have grown immensely since she has been in the program, even despite participating during the three years that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Emili is a dedicated student, and she has a natural desire to help. She hopes to be an engineer to prove that women can be engineers, and I truly believe she will achieve this! One of her school classmates also participates in the program, and this student, Jan Carlos, struggles a bit more than Emili does. Emili has jumped eagerly into the role of being Jan Carlos’ friend, working everyday side-by-side with him to complete their homework, explaining mathematical concepts with patience that surpasses that of most 11-year-olds, and studying with him to make sure they both learn the concepts for quizzes. Emili is very careful with all of her work; she has excellent handwriting and always takes extra care to make sure her projects are well-written, and isn’t afraid to ask for help when she doesn’t understand.
This year, Emili is in 6th grade and will graduate in December; next year will be her first year of secondary school. Receiving a scholarship from ONE will ensure that she will be able to participate in her graduation ceremony, and will set her up for success for high school since her family will be able to count on Emili having all of her educational needs met so that she can focus on studying to achieve her goals.
In addition, Emili wrote a letter to us, which we have translated here:
Dear ONE Foundation
My name is Emili Ariana Navarrete Eugarrios. I am 11 years old and I am in 6th grade. I live with my mother and my two siblings.
The reason for this letter is to ask you for a scholarship from your foundation. I am a good student and I love to learn. My mother stays as home and at times goes out to paint nails from time to time to earn a little money to help me and my siblings and with the pandemic it has been more difficult. This year will be my graduation from sixth grade and I need help to be able to participate in the ceremony and after that to be able to study in secondary school.
If you give me a scholarship I promise to do well and complete everything you ask me to.
I await your help, may God bless you all.
Emili is doing really well in school, so well, in fact that she was a cumplidora in the annual Fiesta de la Patria parade. That honor is only accorded students who have an 80% and above average, and Emili had an 86% at the end of her first semester of high school. Pretty impressive! We loved her letter to us.
Hello, dear ONE board. I hope that you are all well, and that you are doing well.
- Are you enjoying secondary school? Tell us why or why not.
Yes, I am enjoying it. I’m doing well in my classes and I have understood the majority of them, although some are a little hard. And the teachers are very good.
- How is secondary school different from primary school?
In secondary school there are many teachers and some are stricter than others. And also, there are a lot of students in secondary school.
- What is your favorite class in secondary school? Why?
Language and literature, math, and English. In language because I like to write paragraphs and stories. In math, although some of the content is hard for me I like to be able to learn and to be able to show myself that I can. In English I like it because the professor congratulates me on being the best and because I always answer, go up to the chalkboard, and my friends ask for my help on their exercises.
- What are you looking forward to the most for next semester?
I am hoping to do better and be able to succeed.
Well, we think she has succeeded beautifully this far!
I hope this letter works for you.
Emili’s year-end letter to us is very sweet. She’s very excited to go to school, and will be entering secondary classes in early January.
Hi Christa and the board. This is Emily responding to the questions that you gave me.
Something that excites me for the upcoming year is that I will be going to a new school and I will be able to have new friends. It makes me nervous that in this new school there are more people and I don’t know if any of my friends will be with me.
The best thing that happened to me last year was to have been one of the best students in my school.
I think that secondary school will be different from primary because the classes will be harder and new teachers will be a little strict.
My favorite teacher was my science teacher because she is very good and kind and teaches her classes well.
I hope this letter will do.
Sincerely, Emily Navarrete
Well, if you look back on Emili’s midterm letter to the foundation, she certainly managed to accomplish all her goals! She graduated, she went on to secondary school with high grades, and she gave the valedictorian speech for being the best student in her grade! Her graduation was a lot of fun; both 6th grade and preschool were graduating and she got to march first in her grade in the parade to the church and back for the mass. Her speech was really well done. Christa asked her if she was excited to give it. She said yes. Christa then asked if she was nervous, and she said “not really.” Judging by her performance, she wasn’t nervous at all! Also, board member Meghan Haslam was there with her parents and her husband. So Emili had the only five Norteamericanos in El Sauce there at her graduation!
After the ceremony, Christa went out to pizza and ice cream with Emili, her mother Heydi, her sister Michel and her brother. We were also joined by Karina, Raquel, and Meghan. We can’t say much about the quality of Nicaraguan pizza, but the quality of the gathering was top-notch!
Emili wrote her valedictorian speech herself and we’ve included a translation here. Congratulations, Emili! She said she wants to study mechanical engineering. Whatever she chooses, we have no doubt she’ll do a fantastic job at it.
Translation of Emili’s Valedictorian Speech
December 5, 2022
Ruben Dario School
Words of Thanks
A very good afternoon, educational authorities who honor us with your presence.
Dear Parents, Director, Principal, Vice-Principal, Valued Teachers, Students and General Public.
It is a great honor for me to be able to say a few words on the part of my 6th grade classmates, who on so significant a day we finished our primary education and on which we said goodbye to our beloved school that sheltered us for 6 years, where we first arrived fearful and that through the days we felt at home, because we found good and caring teachers who made us feel loved and protected, but above all they nourished us with good examples and values.
We do not say goodbye but see you soon. We will never forget the advice that our Principal, Vice-Principal and Teachers gave us. We will continue to seek success in order to shape the welfare of our country.
Thank you and may God bless you greatly
Several of us also went out for La Purisima on December 7. Emili and her sister came along with Christa, Meghan and her parents and husband, Marina, Karina and her sister Daniela to wander the streets enjoying the craziness of the night. Christa brought along glow sticks, which we are pretty sure no one in town had seen before, since they kept asking us where we got them! We had a blast.
Emili did really well on her midterm grades, achieving a 92% average. She loves school, and is still very helpful and serious about her studies. Her midterm letter to us was wonderful.
El Sauce, Leon 15 September 2022
Dear Christa and One New Education board, I hope this finds you very well.
I want to tell you that this academic year I obtained an excellent academic average because I made a big effort on my part.
What are you goals for the rest of this year?
My goals for this year are:
- To be able to graduate to secondary school.
- To be able to give the valedictorian speech.
- Come into secondary school with a good grade point average.
What is your favorite class? Teach us something from that class.
My favorite class is math. I can teach you to do a division problem.
30/5 = 6
What is your favorite color?
I also want to tell you that my favorite color is turquoise, because it has many tones and I feel like those tones of that beautiful color represent me.
I wanted to thank you for the scholarship that you have given me. With this, I say goodbye wishing for the best to the whole board.
Sincerely, Emili Ariana Navarrete Eugarrios
Emili has been meeting with Raquel and Karina from time to time for Karina’s mentoring sessions. Karina says they’ve been talking about all kinds of things: school, boys, their future, etc. During their most recent meeting, Karina decided to ask them some questions and here are the answers she got from Emili:
1) Why do you think education is important?
I think that education is important because thanks to education we can achieve what we want, our goals.
2) What would you like to be in the future?
I would like to be an engineer in structure and design.
3) If you had one wish, what would it be?
My wish would be that I could leave class with very good grades and be able to be what I want to be.
4) What are you afraid of?
My biggest fear is being alone without my family.
5) What do you think are your strengths?
My family, the faith I have in God, I believe in myself and what I want to accomplish.
6) If you could travel, where would you like to go?
To Somltillo, a town in Chinandega.
Karina says that Emili is very serious and shy, but we can’t think of a better person for her to have as a mentor. She’s in very good hands! And just because we thought it was too cute to pass up, we attached a video of Emili and Raquel saying hi to Christa. Hopefully they will both get to meet more of the ONE board soon!