Our Actions Today Build a Brighter Future

Odalis Edith Moreno Martinez was proudly born and raised in San Juan de Dios, Cocle. Many students in this area must travel at least ten minutes by car to reach the nearest school.  Ambiitious and eager to take advantage of opportunities, Odalis attended the Angel Maria Herrera high school in Penonome, recognized by many as one of the best high schools in the province. 

A Recent graduate of the University of Panama Odalis shares the calling to be a teacher. Hoping to put her biology degree with an emphasis in zoology to good use, inspiring other future scientists. 

Learning is the key, it opens the lock, and the door swings open to a world of possibilities. A vast field of opportunities. That is why it’s important to acquire knowledge and skills that can help us along the way. Especially when we become professionals, says  Odalis. 

Sometimes there are obstacles in our way. They obscure the view, making it hard to see the horizon. The light at the end of the tunnel. “For me, that obstacle was often connectivity, the internet was intermittent at best. Coupled with having to navigate new platforms and digital tools, the sudden transition to online learning was perhaps the biggest challenge I was able to overcome.”

Learning to use these tools, and monitoring when new ones become available and then learning them now is now an essential part of learning anything. Then once we finish school, the workplace we enter will have technology as part of it. People who have not yet been able to develop this skill will be at a serious disadvantage.

During her studies Odalis discovered her deep curiosity and interest for the “small things”. That is microbiology. This excitement, Odalis admits, is due to all the laboratory experiments she was able to experience, manipulating organisms and seeing things that cannot be seen by the human eye. What amazed her the most though was the fact that these small forms of life can cause so many diseases. 

Odalis discovered Forum Foundation during the COVID-19 pandemic. When administrative team members interviewed a group of students that were finishing their university degrees but lacked the necessary resources to cover the costs. A common characteristic among John Keffer Scholarship recipients is a never give up attitude, coupled with immense gratitude. Odalis never gives up, giving it her all in every moment, always striving to learn more, meet new people, and learn to work with them in order to accomplish our goals. 

In her own words “ Anything that is built in the present is tomorrow’s success. If we are given the opportunity to study, we must embrace it fully, not give up, until we reach our goal.”

Odalis will go on to complete her studies as a teacher at the University of Panama