I was eager to connect with "Marco," one of our dynamic reading promoters, on my recent trip to Guatemala. Last November his father – out of the blue – asked him when he would be getting married. Marco is 17. He explained to his father that his studies were his priority. He has two more years of high school left. He wants to finish school, get a job and then get married.
Marco's father got so angry with his response that he kicked him out of the house, telling him he never wanted to see his face again.
He was forced to find housing and a job to support himself during the months of November and December (while school is out of session).
I am happy to report he's back at home, studying and leading reading activities. He is clearly traumatized by the shock of having the rug yanked out from under him. He is afraid he may, again, lose everything without warning, in the blink of an eye.
"All is well right now," I told him, "so celebrate and enjoy that. Don’t get stuck in fear over what might happen. Daniel, Gael, Larry and I are here when troubles arise to help you think of options and solutions." And with that he smiled, hugged me, and I felt his body relax a bit.
Every one of our amazing teen leaders has a story similar to this. They live on a precipice, and even the littlest things can send them right over the edge. Marco's father is not a bad man. He is under tremendous pressure to provide for his large family. And it is largely due to the funds you provide for Marco's schooling that enabled his father to take him back under his roof. Our youth appreciate you greatly and depend upon your support to keep their lives on track.
Your support really matters.
Thank you for your partnership in this important work.