Sponsored by Sharp Perspective

Name: Armanda M.
Big Goal: To become a lawyer so she can help the most vulnerable, and to build an orphanage
Big Obstacle: A lack of money for realizing her dream of attending law school
What Armanda Needs: A scholarship, to continue the education she needs to become a community leader

Armanda lives with her mother, older brother and grandmother. The family relies on the support of an uncle, who provides just enough funds for shelter, food and for Armanda to attend school. Even with the generosity of her uncle, Armanda does not always have enough money for school and is often forced to spend one to two months at home, away from learning. But none of these circumstances has deterred Armanda from following her dream to continue her studies in technology and the law and reaching a position where she can give back to those in her community who need help.

“Success is a moving target. I don’t think we can ever be comfortable or accept that we have achieved ‘it’. To me, being successful means constantly challenging yourself to learn more, help more and be better. When I become successful, I will be able to support the dreams of others.”

Armanda has already accomplished what seemed to her an almost impossible goal – learning English. Realizing that no one at home had the language skills to help her, Armanda once again turned to an uncle for help. Before giving her the money for the first English class, he wanted Armanda to prove that she could handle the extra work on top of her regular school schedule – by keeping her grades high enough! Unfortunately, Armanda’s uncle was unable to provide the consistent financial assistance she needed to attend every class, but with the help of technology, a little ingenuity and a lot of perseverance, Armanda was able to figure out a way to maintain a regular learning schedule. Today, Armanda is confident that learning English was just the first step on her way to realizing her dreams.

“Without the technology that allowed me to learn English, I wouldn’t have been able to tell my story here about why I need this scholarship. Technology empowers girls like me who are desperate for the opportunities to learn. Being able to communicate my story in English and share it with technology, has opened doors for me to advance my education.”

Obstacles remain in Armanda’s path, but she holds firm to her positive outlook on life and her own ability to create the change she wants to see in the world. Knowing that her dreams exceed the financial means of her family, Armanda is concentrating on sharing her story and maintaining her commitment to learning.

“My mother is really worried about my future, but I tell her, I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime – to prove that I am strong and intelligent and capable of continuing my education. Nothing will stop me from achieving my idea of success, of being able to give back to the community that has raised me.”

by Rebecca Mayville