Leaders & Readers

  • Empowering Young Leaders

    Since the Leaders and Readers Program started in 2009, we’ve worked with more than 150 teens who have reached more than 12,000 children with books and literacy activities.
  • Changing the Norm

    In the communities where we work, fewer than 10% of students finish high school, but with your help we can change the norm. Our teens are the exception. These young leaders stand in the center of a circle of change. They are setting new standards, challenging old ways of thinking, and bringing prosperity to their communities. When you invest in one of our youth leaders, you invest in the future of the world around them.
  • Learning Begins with Literacy

    Literacy is a gateway to participation in an increasingly global society. It is a way to good health, informed parenting, economic sufficiency, political voice, and achieving our dreams. But in the Guatemalan communities where we work, most adults cannot read or write.
  • Inspiration despite Limited Resources

    By providing scholarships tat secure educations, we help position communities to chase their own dreams. Time and time again we are inspired by our teens' ingenuity, courage, and tenacity.
  • A Town's First Library

    In 2012, several of our teen reading promoters announced that they’d be building Concepcion’s very first library. In a community where before there weren't even books, town leaders, parents, teachers, and students came together to refinish an old space that now houses shelves of great reading for everyone to share! Even better? This library is now seen as a model for similar projects in Chuacruz and Chuiquel!
In high income countries, education is a luxury to which we rarely give a second thought. Each of us learned to read because an adult sat us on his/her lap and read stories of flying carpets, giant peaches, and fairy godmothers. Our imaginations ran wild with possibility, and just as quickly as dreams were born, those same adults gave us the skills we needed to chase even our wildest ambitions.
  • 5 Communities
  • 12 Years
  • 150+ Youth Leaders
  • 12,000+ Children

Our scholarships program helps provide rural Mayan teens with the financial resources they need to graduate from high school – an accomplishment that can have an even more profound impact on their lives and future than it would here in America. They discover self-worth and confidence, along with a new vision for their community that sparks their initiative to become leaders in other areas of their lives.

Because the cost of attending public school is more than half an average Mayan family’s annual income, only 10% of students in the Department of Solola attend high school. Participants in our program receive a full four-year high school scholarship. When they graduate they have the potential to double their families’ incomes. 

Throughout the years, our programs have reached over 12,000 elementary-school-aged children with weekly education and literacy activities. As a result, these children have developed a love of reading, have improved Spanish comprehension skills (Spanish is their second language), as well as their critical and creative thinking skills – skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.

And these youth are using their education and leadership skills to improve their communities. To date, program participants in two of our partner communities have opened their first-ever public libraries and continue to run the libraries through the boards that they created and on which they volunteer. Our teens are class and school presidents, sports team leaders and church youth group leaders.