“I feel blessed to participate in the sponsorship program,” says 20-year-old Juan who is currently studying medicine in university. He has encountered many obstacles in his young life, but thanks to his sponsor and other Chalice supports he is very close to realizing his dream of working in the medical field.
Growing up in Chiclayo, Peru, his humble and hardworking family struggled to make ends meet. When he was eight, his father passed away, leaving them all devastated. But the following year things started to turn around when Juan was admitted into the sponsorship program and chosen by a sponsor. Slowly but surely their lives steadily improved.
Juan’s mother worked harvesting vegetables. One of his brothers was also chosen by a sponsor. Taking full advantage of every opportunity, Juan participated enthusiastically in the Child and Adolescent Development Program at the site. Over the years he received tutoring and participated in nutrition programs, music, dance, art, swimming, sports, computing, and environmental care with crops of trees.
“I was able to excel in school because my mother sent me to math reinforcement classes at the Chiclayo program, explained Juan. “I want to give thanks for the support I receive from my sponsor, the gift catalogue, and special money. My life has changed now that I am a university student with many aspirations.”
The sponsorship program gave him tools to grow his personal, social and communication skills. It also improved his self-confidence and leadership ability. In 2019 Juan won a government scholarship and entered the Human Medicine program at the Universidad Científica del Sur, in Lima. He is currently in his third semester and is able to continue his studies thanks to the support of his sponsor.
Tragically Juan and his siblings suffered the loss of their mother in January 2020. Thanks to the support they received from their extended family and site staff they are starting to find joy once more.
“I will always be grateful to my sponsor, whom I hold in high esteem and who helped me learn the value of friendship and solidarity, in the same way I thank all the staff of Chalice for having chosen me for this program,” Juan says emphatically. “I want to achieve my dream of finishing my degree, graduate as a doctor, and continue specialization studies, to help my siblings, sponsored friends and other people who need me.”