FORUM FOUNDATION SPONSORS FIELD TRIPS TO TAKE LEARNING BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Our longstanding support for student field trips continues. In October, our grants helped several schools visit iconic sites like the Panama Canal and Biomuseo. Beyond the classroom, these grants facilitate a broader understanding of Panama and the world, breaking down barriers, exposing students to new perspectives, and nurturing curiosity.
RUBEN DARIO CARLES STUDENTS REPRESENT COCLE IN NATIONAL CONTEST
A Forum Foundation grant has helped cultivate the arts at the Ruben Dario Carles school since 2014. In September and October of 2023, students who participated in the school’s Integrated Pedagogical Project, facilitated by a monthly grant, traveled to Panama to represent the Province of Cocle. We are immensely proud of this learning community for their achievement!
University Students Take Initiative
Developing and promoting student agency is a top priority! We were thrilled when several university stduents approached us about getting help preparing for their English exams.
Through group activities, quizes, and even an online practice exam, participants were able to reinforce their learning, and confidently face this challenge.
The Value of a Visit
Fundacion Academia Forum’s vital role of visiting parents and students is exemplified by Profesora Elvia Martinez and Sandra Rodriguez’s dedicated journeys through Northern Cocle. These committed women travel near and far to reach beneficiaries’ homes, experiencing firsthand the arduous journeys students endure to attend school. Fostering strong relationships with families, these visits motivate parents to support their children’s education, students take pride in their origins, inspiring them to return and share what they have learned. We remain steadfastly committed to our mission, offering scholarships, resources, and educational support to help students on their path to graduation.
WHAT IS IN A BOOK? JOY, HOPE, AND THE KNOWLEDGE TO BUILD A BETTER TOMORROW
John Y. Keffer and Janet Robinson, Forum Foundation leaders, have a deep love for books and a passion for sharing that love with students in Panama. They organized a life-changing field trip to Panama City for students who had never left their communities before. At the Panama International Book Fair, John generously provided the funds for each student to buy their first book, an experience that brought them immense joy as most had never owned a book before.
This inspirational moment evolved into the John Y. Keffer Library, situated in the auditorium of Jose De Los Reyes Vasquez High School in El Caimito, Cocle. The library has received hundreds of donated books and has also donated books to schools in mountainous regions. It continues to serve as a hub for students and parents seeking resources and adventure.
Community Learning Drives Sustainable Change in Northern Coclé
In 2022, Fundacion Academia Forum partnered with Panama’s National Institute for Professional Training and Human Development (INADEH) to offer free courses to communities in Northern Coclé. Fundacion Academia Forum is proud of the participants’ dedication and is committed to fostering this valuable collaboration with INADEH to continue providing free education, contributing to sustainable community development.”
A love for Language and learning
Ailin Perez proudly displays her Bachelor’s in English Diploma from the University of Panama, Cocle. We are thrilled that another Forum Academy Graduate, Class of 2016, has accomplished this important goal. “I am motivated to be part of the solution and positively contribute to education in Panama. Personally, I consider that English is an essential language in life. Every student should take advantage of the opportunity to learn English. Not only when you are enrolled in school or in the classroom. But for your entire life!”
IN HER OWN WORDS, THis DOESN'T End HERE
Dalis Moran, from Chirigui Arriba, is unstoppable. A recent graduate of the University of Panama (Class of 2022), she tells us how her experiences as a student at Forum Academy continue to shape her bright future. Click the link below to learn more about Dalia’s experience in her own words.
Making history with Larissa Lopez
We are honored to join in celebrating inspiring academic accomplishments! Meet Larissa Lopez Univeristy of Panama 2022 graduate! Passionate about history, teaching and learning, Larissa tells us about overcoming challenges and her future plans to become a teacher.
OUR ACTIONS TODAY BUILD A BRIGHTER FUTURE
Odalis Moreno discovered Forum Foundation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visiting Forum Foundation team members interviewed a group of students that were finishing their university degrees but lacked the necessary resources to cover the costs. Odalis did not hesitate. She knows the future depends on taking advantage of the opportunities we have today.
SUMMER INTERSHIP HELPING OTHERS
Meet Misael Moran, from Toabre, Cocle. A Computer Science student at the University of Panama in Cocle, he recently had the opportunity to join Fundacion Academia Forum efforts in Caimito. University students must complete a professional internship as part of their graduation requirements. For Misael, working with the Foundation has been invaluable. Most importantly as he puts it the internship “Gave me the opportunity to use the knowledge and skills I have acquired at university.”
FUTURE TEACHER WITH A PASSION FOR LEARNING AND NATURE
Congratulations to University graduate Denia Rodriguez, Class of 2022, University of Panama, Cocle. A former Forum Academy student, Denia moved on to receive a John Keffer University Scholarship. In the enduring spirit of sustainable change, she has returned as a mentor to help students with their science assignments. Her passion of teaching, learning, nature and science are contagious. She is sure to be a inspiring teacher and agent of change.
Hands-on Experience For a Future Educator
One of the proverbial silver linings of the COVID-19 Pandemic’s gray cloud has been the return of Forum Academy Alumni and John Keffer University Scholarship Recipients. Eager to reconnect with others and actively participate in our learning support programs, people like Veronica are an integral part of helping save a generation of students, by helping them stay motivated so that they may reach their full potential.
FOLLOWING FAMILY FOOTSTEPS
Forum Foundation beneficiaries have an undeniable effect on others. Especially in the exceptional case of siblings. Edgar Valdes first heard about Forum Foundation through his older sister Belkis who graduated from Forum Academy. The rest as they say is history. Edgar has now returned as a mentor helping tutor and motivate students as part of Forum Foundation Learning Support Programs.
STITCHING TOGETHER A BRIGHTER FUTURE
One of the many advantages of offering our programs at the John Keffer Library and Community Center located in the Jose De Los Reyes Vasquez school in Caimito is the available, flexible space in this now refurbished multi-purpose classroom. Profesora Graciela Castillo shares her experience facilitating our first official INADEH workshop. Twenty-two participants completed this workshop successfully. Many more workshops are planned for the future.
ACCESS TO DIGITAL RESOURCES OPENS A PATH TO SUSTAINABLE CHANGE
Students like Jair provide a prime example of how access to digital resources provided at our Community Center locations in Caimito can transform lives. Jair did not trust taking his University Admissions test on his cell phone. So he went to the Community Center and asked to use a laptop computer available free of charge. “I am infinitely grateful to Forum Foundation for this opportunity. I will certainly continue to use the Community Center and its resources as a university student.”
EVERY DAY IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN
Militzi is another outstanding scholarship beneficiaries to receive academic honors in 2022. A strong desire for self-improvement kept her moving forward. She reminds us it is a power each of us has. “Everyone has their own path to self-improvement,” I advise other students to use their abilities and work hard. Your talent and effort will allow you to take advantage of opportunities and achieve success.”
WITH EFFORT AND DEDICATION, I CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING
Karol Milagros Mendoza Martinez is an inspiring young woman. After setting her goals, and taking advantage of every new opportunity. Her hard work, dedication, discipline, and organization earned her second-place honors in the class of 2022 at the Professional and Technical Institute in her community of Coclesito.
GRADUATING WITH HONORS IS JUST THE BEGINNING FOR DORIS RIVERA
Doris Lisneth Rivera Núñez of Chiguiri Centro has achieved first-place honors at the Manuel Jaen Rodriguez Educational Center. Her dedication and effort, in every subject and every exam, allowed her to reach this academic honor. Like many of the wonderful students Forum Foundation programs support, Doris has overcome, persisted, and continues moving forward. Click below to learn more about her plans for the future and advice for students.
2022 HONORS GRADUATE YAZMILKA SOTO
Yazmilka Velasquez Soto is a stellar example of what can be accomplished through our programs and scholarships. Now a graduate of the Candelario Ovalle High School, she was recognized with first-place honors. Her sights are now set on enrolling in University. Click below to read the rest of her inspiring story.
Summer break is an excellent opportunity for Forum Foundation to offer workshops and training for our tutors. In early January 2023, Profesora Belkys Ruiz organized a special workshop for twenty-five of our tutors. During the five-day workshop, participants learned a variety of techniques and strategies to work with primary school children.
next step, university
After two years of distance learning and one year in a classroom, Richard has accomplished his goal of graduating high school. His sites firmly set on attending university, he shares his experience and advice for those who hope and strive for a brighter future.
Dreams come true, with effort
Ossiris, future Math teacher, tells us how Forum Foundation scholarship assistance helped her finish and present her thesis. Her passion for mathematics and teaching has already had an influence on other young aspiring mathematicians.
The Final Kilometer: Forum Foundation Assitance for University Graduation
2022 revealed a new opportunity to provide assistance to university students. Young aspiring professionals like Evelyn, featured in this story, were struggling to cover the cost of their final projects and presentations. Forum Foundation assistance has helped make completing these final steps a reality.
Forward-thinking with Grayce Castaneda
Inspiring and full of enthusiasm, Grayce reflects on her learning journey and how Forum Foundation was able to support her along the way. Now a supervisor at a well-known call center in Panama City, Grayce has not stopped learning in her pursuit of success and a better future.
RAFAEL TENORIO FROM STUDENT TO PROFESSIONAL
After finishing his degree in Food Science and Technology, Rafael set out to apply the knowledge he has acquired in the real world. He tells us about how Forum Foundation helped him focus on his studies, and later helped him review his resume and prepare for his job interview.
FORUM ACADEMY ALUMNUS LEADS SELF-ESTEEM WORKSHOP
July 2022 marked the return of Dalis Reyes. Currently in her fifth year studying Psychology at the University of Panama in Panama City, Dalis prepared and delivered a special workshop on Self-Esteem titled “Soy Valioso.”
FoRUM FOUNDATION BENEFICIARIES AWARDED SENACYT SCHOLARSHIPS
Fantastic news to start the 2022 school year. Dianelsa and Lendy, have both received SENACYT scholarships to attend University of Southern Indiana. She shares her inspiring story and hopes for the future.
From Cocle to EXPO Dubai 2022
Adventurous, innovative, and no stranger to academic success, Forum Foundation beneficiary Nitzia Sanchez tells us about her team’s success participating in the 2021 Panama STEM & Robotics Olympics. After winning first place with their Weather Robot, Nitzia is participating in CAMPTECH 2022, where she is learning about microprocesors and programing. She is also preparing for her next adventure. Representing Panama at Expo Dubai 2022.
A local of Caimito, Yilka has achieved part of her dreams. This year she was awarded first-place honors from the Jose de Los Reyes Vasquez school. She shares some words of advice as she prepares to take on her next academic challenge at the University of Panama.
This inspiring young woman continues to make strides. Lendy has now graduated with fourth-place honors from the Federico Zuniga Feliu school. Read more to find out what advice she has for students.
Yasmin’s dedication to her studies earned her third-place honors at the Candelario Ovalle School. She tells us about her efforts, gratitude for the support the Foundation has offered and her plans to become a nurse.
Awarded second-place honors from Colegio Pablo Alzamora Vargas, Yairin is now planning her next learning adventure. Ambitious and focused she tells us about the effort she put forward to accomplish this goal and her plans to become a nurse.
Community school scholarship recipient Edward of the Class of 2021 was awarded first-place honors from I.P.T La Pintada. Read more to learn about how Forum Foundation’s financial aid contributed to his academic success and his plans for University.
Another 2021 graduate at the top of her class, Melani tells us about how her focus and pushing herself beyond her talents culminated in an inspiring academic accomplishment. Not one to lose momentum, Melani is already enrolled in summer classes.
Celebrating the Class of 2021! We are incredibly proud of Mayelis, who graduated with first-place honors from Colegio Mercedes Bustamante. In her own words, she shares the challenges she overcame and advice for students as they prepare for the new shool year.
Leading by example, Berta Rivera continues to inspire her community. From her early days as a scholarship student at Jose de Los Reyes Vasquez to volunteering as a tutor helping students one on one. Berta shares her experience and motivation to keep moving forward.
Sudent Entrepreneur Awarded
Evermore ambitious in her quest for knowledge, Lendy entered an entrepreneurship contest and won! Find out more about her experience participating in the contest and the proposal for Family Tours, as well as her plans after graduation. Congratulations Lendy!
MIRJANA DEL CARMEN MARTINEZ
As she sits down to share the experience of receiving her IB Diploma, Mirjana remembers years filled with learning. Not just the regular subjects, but also, independence, responsibility and dedication. Mirjana plans to graduate from the University of Panama with a degree in Biology. She hopes to be able to contribute to the conservation efforts taking place to protect Panama’s rich biodiversity.
The mask can hardly hide the smile of accomplishment on Jeney’s face. After spending countless hours studying, reviewing, reading, writing and editing, she is finally holding her certificate from the International Baccalaureate. Having completed her examinations, Jeney has received IB certificates in Spanish, History, Biology, English, Chemistry, and Mathematics. (Jeney featured left, together with Mirjana Martinez, IB Diploma recipient)
Only a few steps away from finishing her degree, Doralia is happy, motivated, and already planning for the future. Once she graduates Doralia plans to look for a job to keep moving forward. “A degree in Sanitation and Environment is a career which focuses on training professionals who are able to participate in research and project implementation. This is needed in our country because sadly there are many projects that don’t comply with sanitation and environmental regulations.”
After receiving assistance to complete his high-school degree at IPT La Pintada, Jen is hoping to finish his university studies in Biology. Although he has faced difficulties taking on distance learning, he decided to take on a new challenge. Click the link below to find out how Jen created an online workshop to help students review Biology over the summer.
Forum Academy Alumni Iveth, shares her experience studying medicine at the University of Panama. “My hope is that the Foundation continues helping young people like me, with scholarships and support to graduate. So we can return and give back by helping more students. This way they can help support their families and create a better future.” Click the link below to learn more about how Iveth has continued on her path and what she plans for the future.
DANILO MARTINEZ RUIZ
Meet Danilo, an Electromechanical Engineering student at the Universidad Technologica in Penonome. He grew up in the town of Nances Caballero in Anton, where he attended school at Los Cerritos. That is where he first met Profesora Elvia, who was looking for aspiring students eager to learn and join the adventure of the Forum Academy. Click to read more about Danilo’s future plans, and his motivation to help other young people have a better future.
Like any young woman with the drive to continue improving, Tania sees herself continuing her studies once she graduates. “I hope to specialize in human genetics and molecular biology. I want to help other young people like myself, that have the same drive to be better every day, to become professionals. I want to help others the way Forum Foundation helped me.” Click the link below to learn more about Tania’s experience volunteering at the Centro Conmemorativo Gorgas to help process COVID-19 test.
Graduating with honors in 2020 was no easy feat. “I would like to thank Forum Foundation for the assistance they provided me to be able to finish high school, and the guidance they provided to apply for university. I am grateful for the opportunity to receive a university scholarship.” Click below to learn more about Juan’s adventure and his perseverance to finish the school year and look towards the future.
Currently in her third year at the Universidad de Panama in Penonome, Candy hopes to get a job as soon as she graduates. “It does not matter where, I want to teach, and share my skills as a teacher. I want to make students fall in love with Spanish just like I did.” Click below to discover more.
Days before middle school graduation Pascuala remembers receiving a special letter from Profesoras Elvia and Omaira. The letter contained an invitation to a special boarding school located in Chiriguiri Arriba, The Forum Academy. Click below to learn more about Pascuala’s adventure.
Originally from Altos de la Estancia, Omaira first heard about Forum Academy the year it opened. Currently a student at the University of Panama in Penonome, Omaira is studying to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology. Read more about her adventure taking on the IB and what she plans to do after graduation.
Achieving the IB Diploma is no easy task. This year, amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Lourdes Rodriguez Forum Academy, Class of 2018, received her diploma. She shares this unforgettable experience and her plans for the future.
Class of 2016 Forum Academy Alumni Julia shares the story of how she fell in love with chemistry. Inspired by a teacher’s passion for learning. She is currently pursuing a teaching degree at the University of Panama. What are Julia’s plans for the future? Find out clicking the link below.
YASMIN OSDALI SOTO OVALLE
Yasmin’s story begins in Churuquita Chiquita when she was offered support from Forum Foundation to finish her high school education at Instituto Carmen Conte Lombardo.
Carmen is from Altos de La Estancia. She recalls her time as a student at Forum Academy as well as her time at the Hun School of Princeton. Click the link below to learn more about her plans for the future.
Maria Soto Martinez
Maria first heard about Forum Academy while attending her community school in Chiriqui Abajo. Her teachers spoke to her about a special school looking for exceptional students from communities located in the mountains of northern Cocle. Discover how Maria has been able to continue her senior year of high school and finish her IB evaluations.
BRYNER JOEL SALDAÑA
Part of the first graduating class at Forum Academy (2016), Bryner tells us about his experience as an IB student, and how he intends to use what he has learned so far to pursue a career as a commercial pilot.
Former Forum Academy Student, Nitizia has also been awarded a scholarship to participate in the National Robotics and STEAM Olympics. Learn more about Nitzia her memories of Forum Academy and more about what the scholarship has in store.
Aspiring Nurse and Forum Academy Alumni Class of 2016 Larisa tells us about finishing university during a pandemic and using what she has learned to navigate the challenges of nursing school.
Former Forum Academy Student, awarded scholarship to participate in the National Robotics and STEAM Olympics. Learn more about Karla and how she achieved this wonderful opportunity.
Jacob Mendieta is the third former Forum Academy Student to receive a scholarship to participate in the National Robotics and STEAM Olympics 2020. He is currently finishing 11th grade at Colegio Angel Maria Herrera in Penonome. Click below to read his story.
2015 Forum Academy Alumni Alexandra studies gastronomy at the University of Panama. Get to know Alexandra and her passion for preserving Panama’s culinary traditions.
Currently a senior at Colegio Angel Maria Herrera. Orlando’s passion for learning English is unstoppable. Learn more about how Orlando is taking on the challenge of virtual learning during the global pandemic.
Class of 2017 graduate Moises now studies Civil Engineering at the Technological University of Panama. Click the link below to read more about Moises’s story with Forum Foundation.
Digital Learning During a Pandemic. Former Forum Academy English professor Juana Perez, tells us about her creating and leading a digital learning English workshop during this difficult and challenging year.
Juan Carlos Martinez
In his own words. Meet Juan Carlos, a former Hun School of Princeton Scholarship Award winner, who’s passion for English, Technology and teaching inspires him to contribute to a more positive world through education.