Following Family Footsteps


2019 Edgar proudly poses for his graduation picture.

Forum Foundation beneficiaries have an undeniable effect on others. Especially in the exceptional case of siblings. Edgar Valdes first heard about Forum Foundation through his older sister Belkis who graduated from Forum Academy. Following in her footsteps, Edgar was able to graduate, taking a special interest in science. “Being at the Academy was a beautiful experience. I was able to achieve a lot. Although it was challenging to not see my family for long periods of time. There were also many hours of homework and studying. I was fortunate to meet many different people from different towns and places all over my beautiful province of Cocle. 

Edgar remembers his teachers putting forth great effort to share their knowledge and understanding with students. “More than anything I learned how to study.” he admits, “I can say that my intellectual level was low when I arrived, but I improved a lot by the time I left and this helped me get into university. 

Although life as a student has not been easy, his passion for learning and reaching his goals have put him on the path to a university diploma from the Universidad Technologica de Panama in Cocle. Edgar hopes to graduate with a degree in Industrial Mechanics. A career that involves using technology for computer-assisted drawing, and offers many competitive opportunities for careers. This young man is eager to take on challenges and capitalize on opportunities. In fact, it was a university professor that encouraged him to pursue this particular degree. 

Like many Forum Foundation beneficiaries that have moved on to university, Edgar has returned to lend a helping hand. Over the summer he was one of several mentor/tutors that participated in the workshop led by teacher Belkis Ruiz. “It was a well-focused workshop focused on primary school students, she was able to show us methods of teaching that can even be applied beyond elementary school. We learned how to divide up material into different lesson plans with an objective for each day. We also learned how to motivate students, learning how to be dynamic and interactive with students.”

Forum Foundation is grateful to see beneficiaries like Edgar return to help make change sustainable. Their contribution is not only essential in our efforts to help generations of students remain in school, preserve and build a better future. The hands-on involvement of returning beneficiaries is proof that change can be sustainable.