An inspiring 2020 graduation
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. Committed to helping Yasmin finish high school Forum Foundation would support her to graduation. “After I graduated high school I was given another opportunity to attend university, and again the Foundation helped me by providing financial assistance to cover transportation and university costs as well as assistance with housing.” The housing component is essential for students from rural communities like Yasmin. Forum Foundation’s assistance in transportation helped ensure she could finish high school and later provided her with assistance in enrolling at Universidad de Panama in Cocle with an apartment closer to the university campus.
“I feel very grateful for the assistance provided, it has helped me a great deal especially in my university studies.” She believes this type of assistance should be available to more students, as long as they are committed and willing to put forward the effort and interest in moving forward. Taking advantage of the opportunities life presents us especially education.
“There are many times that people want to take advantage of opportunities, there are those who want to continue moving forward and learning, but they don’t have the resources and their families can’t help them finish their studies. In my case, my parents didn’t have the resources, but because we had the interest and commitment to keep moving forward, we were able to get the support needed to take advantage of these education opportunities.”
As Yasmin puts it, “anything is possible, if you put in effort and sacrifice, in the end, you will see the result, this is my message to the students who are receiving support from the Foundation, and students all over the country. Studying isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible.”
This year, during a pandemic, Yasmin graduated from nursing school at Universidad de Panama, Centro Regional Universitario de Cocle.
“Things don’t always happen the way we would like them to, but I see it as part of God’s plan, he knows why he does things. Completing my studies during the pandemic was not easy, but it was not impossible either. We overcame many obstacles and barriers, but we were able to persevere and kept fighting for what we want. I thank god for giving me the opportunity to finish another part of my education and my parents for their unwavering support”
Yasmin had dreamed of this moment, of celebrating this accomplishment and being part of a university graduation ceremony. But the pandemic has meant this is not possible. Nonetheless, she is proud to have finished this chapter. And as she sees it graduation opens many more doors. Yazmin hopes to go to secure a job so that she can save up to study for a specialization.
She wants to continue growing and learning in her field. “ I want to make my parents proud, maybe I can’t give back what they gave to me, but perhaps I can put a smile on their faces and bring joy to their hearts. That makes me very happy. The thought that they will feel their sacrifice was not in vain. That brings me joy.
To John and Janet, Profesora Elvia and Profesora Omaira, I thank you a million times over. I am infinitely grateful for all the support you have given me since we met when I was in grade 10. I hope Forum Foundation is proud of this my most desired goal. I thank you all for putting your trust in me, it is because of you that I am able to say that I did it! Showing that students who are from rural communities and come from basic education programs can also strive for success and progress. If we want something, we will pursue it until it becomes reality. The power of our nation arises from rural communities.”