She did it! On December 3, 2016, Hazel Karina Martinez Martinez graduated from secondary school in El Sauce, Nicaragua. In attendance: three members of the ONE board (Christa Sadler, Janeece Henes and Meghan Haslam), a group of students from Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, and many adoring family members and friends.
Karina is the first student to graduate from secondary school with our scholarship program, and we couldn’t be happier. She is a lovely and wonderful young lady: funny, kind, humble, and loving. She has worked very hard these past five years to achieve this, and when you realize the odds she was up against, it makes it all the more wonderful.
Karina comes from a tiny village about 90 minutes out of town. Up until last year, there was no option for high school in her village, so she had to study in town. She did this by studying Saturdays, and working as a preschool teacher in her village (which paid a tiny bit, but not much at all). Her parents did not attend high school, and Karina and her brother Eliezer, who graduated at the same time, will be the first children in the family to attend the university.
Karina is studying right now for her entrance exam, which she takes on January 12, 2017. It’s a little like the SAT, but the results of the exam determine which program she can study in college. At this point, she has three options. In order of preference for her: a career in tourism, trabajo social (social work), or ciencias sociales (social science). She will learn the results of the exam on January 24, and classes at the Universidad Autonoma de Leon Nicaragua begin on February 11.
She has it all planned. Karina, her brother, and a cousin will live in Leon (about 2 hours from El Sauce), and share a room. She will work during the week, take English classes at night, and study at the university on Saturdays. She is waiting to hear about a job, and we’ll keep you posted.
Please check out her page for more information and photos! It was a wonderful day, and there is a full description with all the photos there, but here are a few photos to whet your appetite. Thank you to all of you who have donated to help these girls stay in school. There will be more graduates in the future, but right now, we celebrate Karina!