El Salvador's Jesuit martyrs extensively wrote essays about how education can lead to social change and breaking impoverishment's vicious cycle. During my two visits to Nuestro Ahora, Inc., I was struck by how this organization daily strives to embody the Jesuits' essays. Nuestro Ahora, Inc.'s mission is to mentor and provide a stable lifestyle to orphans enrolled in local colleges. During an overnight stay at the Scholarship, I was impressed by the students' hospitality toward me and seriousness with which they approached their studies. As Nuestro Ahora, Inc. graduates its first class this year, and continues to expand, El Salvador's future looks bright.
I have volunteered at the Natalia de Siman orphanage for 8 years and Nuestro Ahora started supporting several of the girls from the orphanage a few years ago. The opportunity to go to University for these girls before was extremely limited and Nuesto Ahora has given the gift of education and a bright future to girls who could have easily ended up without jobs once they were too old for the orphanage. I've also noticed a shift in the mentality of the girls still at the orphanage about going to college. Because they have seen their peers participating in Nuestro Ahora, the possibility of going to college for the younger girls has become much more plausible and it is now something that they are actively working for instead of a distant and illusive goal. Nuestro Ahora is changing lives and the amount of dedication and sacrafice made by Nuestro Ahora staff and volunteers is incredible. It is clear that they will not allow this program to fail and instead will work tirelessly to expand and and reach as many students as possible.
Review from Guidestar
Nuesto Ahora gives many orphans from El Salvador a chance to not only survive through housing and food, but to get and education and college for those who would never have this opportunity. This allows many of them to succeed where otherwise they would would have no chance.
My family volunteered at two orphanages in El Salvador and it soon became apparent that once a child aged out of his or her orphanage he/she was at great risk. Some beautiful girls we knew ended up on the street - they had no other options. NUESTRO AHORA is truly a godsend - it provides hope for a better future to children who deserve and need it. These children now have an obtainable goal to aspire to: to qualify and be accepted into NUESTRO AHORA to continue their education and achieve their dreams. This program has changed the outlook for the children at the orphanages - they are now motivated to do better in school and have something to aspire to. I can not stress enough how important and critical NUESTRO AHORA is to the disadvantaged youth of El Salvador and to the country of El Salvador. In addition to being a donor, my girls and I have visited NUESTRO AHORA a number of times and have gone on a field trip with the scholars and founder and have been impressed each time. It is a welcoming, warm and safe place. The scholars receive the academic and social skills assistance each of them needs to succeed. One only needs to spend a little time there to realize that something very significant and life-changing is going on - the scholars are accomplished and newly confident young people who are being given a chance to change their lives and prospects, which in turn, will make El Salvador, and our world, a better place.
I have known Nuestro Ahora for 4 years. It is helping orphan kids finish highschool and get into college. It is meeting an enormous need here in El Salvador. An education is the best way for these kids to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty and the dysfunctional environment they were born into. In many cases, these high schoolers are the ONLY person in his familiy to have ever gotten this far!