Bryner Joel Saldana was born in David, Chiriqui, but grew up in the town of Caimito, Penonome, Province of Cocle. He describes his life growing up as nomadic, “I attended four different schools before arriving at Forum Academy. Just like other students, I had dreams, but each time I move I seemed to change my mind.”
“I first heard about Forum Academy during my junior year of high school, just a few days before graduation,” he recalls. For Bryner, the Academy was an opportunity for change and self-reform. Given the high academic standards, he was motivated to change his approaches to learning. “This marked a turning point in my life, it was without a doubt the most enriching experience I have had.”
For many of the students who had the opportunity to pursue the IB Diploma Program, the benefits of a different way of learning are evidenced in their self-reflection. “I think the most rewarding aspect of completing the IB was learning how to learn. Together with knowing that I am part of a community that offers one of the best programs in the world, and being aware of my intellectual and emotional growth. Becoming a more ethical person upon completing the Diploma Program.”
“This experience taught me to bear demanding workloads, balance my time, respect other peoples’ perspectives, and know how to effectively acquire and communicate reliable and accurate knowledge.”
Having completed the IB Diploma Program, Bryner is aware of his social responsibility as a human being. He plans on becoming a commercial pilot using all the knowledge and skills he learned at Forum Academy. Using what he learns in the service of the community. Collaborating with others in order to “make a better, equitable, fair, and peaceful world.”
“From 2018-2019, I had the opportunity to participate in new student recruitment for Forum Academy. This involved traveling on some of the most dangerous roads in Cocle. From the Cocle del Norte River to the Cordillera Central in la Barretas, to find exceptional students. Each journey was worth the effort. These trips showed me the poverty and lack of opportunties and education that many families in Northern Cocle face. My commitment to Forum Foundation remains. I want to continue having a positive impact on the lives of other young people, families, in these communities. Forum Foundation changed my life and I plan to help make that happen for other people.”
During the pandemic, Bryner has been patiently waiting to attend an aviation academy to continue his studies. Being home with his family during this difficult time has given him time to learn how to work the land and harvest fruit. He has also spent most of the quarantine at the former Forum Academy facilities, helping with maintenance, purchasing supplies, transportation of donations, and assisting with the move to our moving to the temporary offices.
Forum Foundation is committed to supporting exceptional students like Bryner, so that they successfully complete high school, go on to university, and lifelong learning.