Forward Thinking with Grayce Castaneda

Grayce Web

Hailing from the community of La Sabana, in Penonome, Grayce was in her third year of high school when she met Profesora Elvia. “From the very first moment, when I heard Profesora Elvia talk about the Forum Academy and the opportunity it presented. I knew that it was an incredible opportunity, and I wasn’t wrong.”

 “Thanks to Forum Foundation, I had the greatest experiences as I finished high school, because I had the opportunity and access to a level of education that not many in Panama are privileged to have. I had the best teachers and I even had the opportunity to attend high school in the United States for one year. (Grayce received a Forum Foundation Scholarship to attend the Hun School of Princeton 2016-2017). In addition to receiving support during high school, Grayce then received a university scholarship, that helped her complete her 4-year university degree program.

When she finished high school, Grayce tried her hand with the experimental science. “I have always been interested in planning, putting those plans into action, and then seeing the ideas become a reality. That is why  I chose to study Operations and Logistics Management.

Although she would like to “give back” a bit more, Grayce has been able to provide learning support to students through tutoring. “Unfortunately I am not able to do it as often, because I can’t be there in person. However, I would like to continue being an active part of the Foundation so that I can help other students the way the Foundation helped me.” 

Grayce is now a supervisor at a well-known call center in Panama City. She is also working on her thesis, which is focused on helping coffee producers from her district helping them improve their operations and systems to reduce costs. “Independently, I am working with a group of friends who have experience in information and technology systems, to create a Freelance services platform. This would help small and medium-sized businesses to create more jobs and attract more young professionals to be part of the workforce. 

Her advice for those who are looking for a job is straightforward. “First, don’t get frustrated. Searching for employment is not an easy task, but it is by no means impossible. They should look for companies that have opportunities where they can continue to grow as professionals. It really doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you don’t feel stuck. Thirdly, spend some time on your resume. Sometimes it’s not so much about the information that is there, but how it is presented. Lastly, keep on learning, and look for as many courses and opportunities as you can. This will add value to your professional profile.”

Forum Foundation is committed to supporting inspiring people like Grayce. Lifelong learners who help make change sustainable in their communities.