Wendy Maria Yacón Calel is a twelve year old girl with a big smile and bright eyes. She is the eldest daughter of the family Yacón Calel, with two brothers and three sisters. Wendy is very committed to her studies and loves literature. Wendy's father is a day laborer, taking home roughly $5 a day, depending on the time of crops and amount of work available. Wendy's mother is a housewife and works as a seamstress. In her spare time Wendy sews, helping to bring extra income for her family. In primary school she dreamed of continuing her studies but because of economic issues her parents had to withdraw her from school. All Wendy wanted was to continue on with her education but there was no money to provide her with that opportunity.
Last January Wendy traveled to Guatemala, accompanied by a friend who was working in a restaurant. To help support her family, Wendy decided she needed to work to generate an income, leaving aside what she really wanted, to continue her education. Wendy worked in a dining room long hours, washing dishes and waiting tables. The owner of the restaurant provided rooms for employees and gave Wendy her own room to sleep. She was twelve years old, away from her family, working hard every day, sometimes for fifteen hours! It was very difficult for Wendy to live in the capital alone. For safety, Wendy remained in the restaurant and didn't travel outside.
Thanks to the Clifford-Lawler Scholarship Fund, School the World was able to award scholarships to five very deserving children to continue on with their education. Wendy was one of these children who was picked because of her commitment. Upon hearing the news that Wendy was selected for a grant from School the World, she and her family were so excited! It is a dream come true for Wendy (and her family) to be able to continue studying. She is very grateful to STW, and has committed to working as hard as she can in her studies.
We cannot wait to see how Wendy thrives in secondary school. We'll keep you posted on how her experience in school is going throughout the year.