Omaira Vasquez

Currently a student at the University of Panama in Penonome, Omaira is studying to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology. Originally from  Altos de la Estancia, she first heard about Forum Academy the year it opened.

At first, there was not much information available about the school. So Omaira took initiative and contacted a family member who studied at the Academy. It was then that she became even more interested, noting that there was a different way of learning and a focus on the importance of quality education.  

When she enrolled at  Forum Academy, the first year was used to reinforce some of the learning gaps or deficiencies. This component of the academic program served to strengthen academic competencies in preparation for the rigor of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. “This was a little difficult. I think one of the major advantages offered by the IB is the ability to open one’s mind and develop critical thinking. So you question more things, and you find solutions in your life.”  

There was a particular way of teaching the subjects. Omaira highlights the great emphasis on self-learning and learning through experience.  “We often learned strategies which could help us recall the content since it was so extensive.” According to Omaira, this is what helped make learning less tedious, finding alternatives to make things easier. 

For Omaira the IB was a once in a lifetime experience.  “The IB  teaches you to be much responsible, disciplined, and to work with others.  You quickly realize you there are often many ways of finding a solution, and that we all have different perspectives. This is what helps make connections with what you have learned, and understand how to apply that knowledge.”

Finishing the IB diploma was the culmination of an arduous process, full of many different feelings.  “It was really a challenge for me because I had to challenge myself to see what I was capable of doing and prove to myself that I could do it. Growing my self-confidence. I feel proud, looking back, and seeing the moments of frustration that happened along the way,  I think I could have done much better, but I still did well.”

Omaira’s adventure continues. Now studying Food Science and Technology. She plans to graduate and then go on to a specialization, which she says will be essential in this competitive career.

Beyond learning the IB curriculum, what Omaira also learned was to understand the need to examine the world through multiple perspectives. She understands the value of experiences and how they help shape us along our path. “I understand that social problems are something which every human being needs to help address and improve. So that in the future there are better opportunities and we can help shape a more equitable society

Forum Foundation is committed to supporting exceptional students like Omaira so that they can achieve their goals and have a positive impact on their communities. Helping make change sustainable.