In Her Own Words, This Doesn’t End Here

Story by: Dalis Moran, Forum Academy Alumni Class of 2017

I met the Forum Foundation thanks to Professor Elvia Martinez, who was touring the communities of Cocle Norte, recruiting outstanding students. Explaining to them in detail the idea behind the innovative Academia project. The interested group met, and I was very struck by how striking and dynamic the program was. Something totally new for me and something that was a great challenge. Determined on the goal, I was able to take the exams and fulfill the requirements to enter as a student. With a lot of happiness and ready to face the challenge, I started classes in 2015. In 2017 I managed to graduate from Forum Academy. 

Everything I learned in those three magnificent years was an academic and personal challenge. This experience also gave me the opportunity to get out of my social bubble. Before, I didn’t know students who came from hard-to-reach places, where schools are not close by. They came from a different reality and this opened my mind to reflect on my own context.

When graduation approached, I had to choose a university career, because as Professor Elvia repeated over and over again, we had to continue studying and take advantage of the opportunity we had been given. From the beginning we had always had the idea of going on with our university studies.  

But there was a lot to choose from and for me it was difficult. So I had to rethink my abilities and what I had found interesting to learn. That’s why I chose mathematics. I was interested in being able to solve complex problems, and I wanted to learn even more. It wasn’t easy and like everything in life there were ups and downs. It is a complicated career to study mathematics at the university level, but I made it. Thanks to the skills and knowledge I acquired as a student at Forum Academy. 

One of the most difficult challenges during 2020 was having to learn using platforms, computers and telephones. But that’s the new learning, more and more innovative. I feel that technology brought us together and allowed us to move forward. I had some difficulties also during the last years of college because I did not have the resources to finish my college thesis, (since the bibliography and resources available at the university were somewhat limited). I am eternally grateful to the Foundation for providing me with access to these resources, without which I would not be celebrating my graduation. 

A word of advice to students, think about yourself and what you are truly interested in studying. What will be worth your enormous effort and dedication. Choose what you are passionate about, no matter what it is. In the end all careers are important. We are the ones who add value to it. And if we choose to do something we don’t like, we will be professionals, unprofessionals. 

Today the easy way seems to be the trend, to be a “tik-toker”. They say they earn more than a graduate. But I know that it is the study, the knowledge to keep learning, that promises a better tomorrow. My father could only make it to the sixth grade. That’s why I believe that we have to take full advantage of educational opportunities. 

In the near future I would like to be a math teacher, at the high school and middle school level, and then at the university level. For the moment I continue to prepare myself, to continue specializing in order to aspire to be a professional who can change the chip to people to see mathematics as a great opportunity and to become great mathematicians. 

A good educator teaches people to be agents of change. Even beyond mathematics. In fact, thanks to the Foundation I have had the opportunity to be a math tutor and do my part. Being a guide for the students has been enriching. It has allowed me to develop my skills for the future. Thank you very much Fundacion Forum. It fills me with happiness to know that I am doing my job well.

Since I was a student at the Forum Academy at the age of 15, this organization has instilled in me skills and abilities that have allowed me to continue on my path. This little school was not at all common, we were a small group with a lot of impact. What we experienced allowed us to be able to develop an open mind, critical thinking, and other competencies, all linked to the prestigious IB program. It has marked us forever. For each of us, it is the key to our success. 

Like many of my friends, I dream of one day being able to go back and give a little more, to help those in need. I greatly admire the fact that a foreigner like John Keffer cares so much for people who do not live in his country. It never ceases to amaze me. Few people think this way. We are eternally grateful for what all the members of the Foundation do for us. You are what allows us to move forward. 

 We are eternally grateful for them, it is a chain, help that continues to multiply. Everything I have achieved is thanks to you. And I will continue to achieve even more. It doesn’t end here.