Pascuala is proud to be from the Zules Community of Rio Indio. She finished her middle school education in Toabre, located two hours from her home. She remembers waking up at four in the morning to prepare her food for the school day.
Departing for school at five. “It was a worthwhile sacrifice, and after three years I was recognized as an honors student, with the second-highest average in my class.”
As middle school came to an end Pascuala remembers receiving a special letter from Profesoras Elvia and Omaira. The letter contained an invitation to a special boarding school located in Chiriquiri Arriba, The Forum Academy. A challenge Pascuala would face head-on.
The desire to succeed motivated Pascuala to take the test, which she passed as well as the interview and summer program. “For me joining the Academy is and will forever be one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. The academy was so unique, offering high-quality education and the support to finish our high school education.” Like many other students who are part of the Forum Family, Pascuala says those family ties last long after graduation. “I made some of my best friends at the Academy, we are all still friends, all pursuing our university careers.”
Also, a recurring theme in these exchanges is the abundance of cherished memories. Sucha s field trips, and studying hard for the IB examinations. But as Pascuala says “that is just the tip of the iceberg. Her favorite subjects had been English and computer class, in fact, she is now pursuing this passion in university.
Currently, Pascuala is planning to finish her Bachelor’s Degree in Software development from the Universidad Technologica de Panama. “Throughout the 4-year university program, I have received support from Forum Foundation. I am very thankful for this support and hope to graduate in 2021. Like many students, I have been set back by the pandemic.” Nonetheless, Pascuala is already looking ahead to the future. Hoping that she will be able to apply for a Master’s degree and share her knowledge as a professor.
Like many other students we have connected with over this challenging year, we asked what learning during a pandemic is like. “It was not easy. The first semester was quite a challenge as we had to go virtual. But I did not let that stop me. Also thanks to Forum Foundation’s help I was able to achieve an additional scholarship during my university career, from Fundacion ASSA.
After graduating from Forum Academy, Pascuala returned to help with tutoring at night, helping the current students. When we asked her why she said it was because she knew that being there motivated the rest of the students that were either starting or finishing their studies. Affirming that they shouldn’t give up and keep moving forward. “Because if I was able to make. So can they.”
Pascuala hopes that Forum Foundation will be able to continue supporting quality education and students through its community outreach projects. “My hope is that in the future many of us that were students at the Academy and received scholarship assistance for universities will return to give back and help more students because we are a great team after all.
Forum Foundation is committed to working with inspiring people like Pascuala, to help exceptional students receive the support they need to achieve their goals.