Forum Foundation beneficiaries are united by their drive and resilience. They are lifelong learners that understand their responsibility. What is more many have shown they are eager to return and give back, sharing what they know, to inspire others.
Ossiris Alveo, a native of the Caimito Community, met the Forum Foundation thanks to Sandra Rodriguez, our Community Center Coordinator. It was she who spoke with Ossiris and explained the programs and assistance provided by the Foundation.
The economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the challenges that already limited opportunities for people like Ossiris. Realizing that many university students did not have the funds to cover the final expenses to earn their degrees, Forum Foundation decided to direct resources to help more students complete their studies and become professionals in their fields. For Ossiris, the funds helped cover the costs of her thesis and final project.
This year she will achieve her dream of graduating with a degree in Mathematics from the University of Panama. “This financial assistance helped me pay for the internet so I could finish my thesis research. I was also able to cover the expenses of bus tickets to the university and also to cover the printing and binding of thesis”.
Ossiris chose her career because she is passionate about mathematics. “It is the beauty in its theories, in its symbols and being able to teach students this discipline that inspired me to make the decision to become a mathematics teacher.”
Like other young people we support, Ossiris has also helped as a tutor “My experience as a tutor for different grade levels at Colegio José de los Reyes Vázquez is my first hands-on teaching experience. As I hope to be a math teacher, tutoring students has helped me to review some content from high school that I had not seen for some time. Tutoring also helped me interact with students, explore different teaching dynamics and understand what it is like to be a math teacher. I believe, beyond teaching content, we teachers serve as an example that motivates students to make the effort to complete their studies.”
Ossiris recalls that the road traveled has not been easy “My biggest challenge of what I studied was to face different subjects where mathematics is so abstract. But with effort, determination, and perseverance I managed to overcome and finish my degree
She advises students to strive to fulfill their dreams. “Do not give up, even if on the way there are adversities and sacrifices. Discipline and perseverance make us unstoppable, helping us overcome obstacles and become the person we always dreamed of becoming. At beginning of my career, this all seemed impossible. In the end, my effort and sacrifices and the help I received from Forum Foundation made the impossible possible and that we never give up on our dreams and goals.”
Early Forum Foundation programs helped students attend and finish high school. Realizing students’ continued interest in education the Foundation grew into providing scholarships for university. In 2022, Forum Foundation’s Administrative Team identified several additional university students on the verge of graduation but lacking the resources to cover the final costs, like printing their final projects. Thus, a group of students were interviewed and subsequently awarded scholarship funds to cover graduation expenses.
Forum Foundation is committed to supporting young and inspiring people like Ossiris, so that they can achieve their dreams and return to their communities to help make change sustainable. #forwardwithforum