Unbound staff member
May 1 2013

From CFCA scholars to CFCA staffers

When CFCA scholars graduate from the program, what happens next? For many former scholarship students, their new career may be right where they started. Read the personal success stories of Bismark and Mayela in Nicaragua.

We recently featured a story about Nectania, a former sponsored child and scholar in Nicaragua who became a CFCA staffer after she graduated.

Bismark and Mayela are two other CFCA scholars turned staffers in Nicaragua. Here are their stories, told in their words. Enjoy!

Bismark: Overcoming obstacles in life

I was abandoned by my mother at age 3, and I never met my father. I was raised by my grandmother, Estela, who unfortunately died from cancer when I was only 6.

I used to come to school at 7 a.m., since I was living in a distant community.

I had to leave my house at 5 a.m., and ride my bike every day in a 6-mile (10-kilometer) commute. If I got a flat tire, it was difficult because I had to carry my bike all along my trip to or from school.

At age 18, I finished high school and asked myself, “How am I going to pay for my university education?” I wanted to study to become a professional.

I decided to request a scholarship at the local municipality. I was lucky; I got one!

In the beginning, I studied full time for a tropical agro-ecological engineering degree.

Sadly, three months later, the authorities at the university told me that the scholarships financed by the municipality had been withdrawn, and I could not continue with my studies unless I covered the cost of my tuition.

I decided to study on Saturdays only and started to work as a mason/bricklayer, making 80 córdoba per day ($3.38 US) to pay my tuition.

A short time later, the construction project was completed, and I lost my job.

One day I visited a friend of mine, and he told me about an organization facilitating scholarships for economically challenged students. I did not think twice — I got all my papers ready and went to the CFCA office in Nicaragua.

I entered CFCA as a scholarship holder at age 19 and in my second year of university.

I considered the scholarship as a gift from God. Back then, my CFCA scholarship helped cover my university costs and meals.

I was an active CFCA scholar for about two years. After that I asked the CFCA coordinator for a part-time job opportunity at CFCA.

I began working part time in 2008. I worked for two years as a social worker, and worked with an average of 300 families.

It was a nice experience for me. It meant lots of responsibility, working with families.

I felt l was contributing to society, and I was also receiving so much love from families: love I never had before.

At 22 years old, I began working full time for CFCA. I feel happy with what I do because to me, to serve is more important than being served.

What I like the most about CFCA is that it is in constant evolution and change. It is not neutral; it really works for the families most in need, whom we learn so much from every day.

Mayela: Inspired by helping others

At age 16, I left my home in Nicaragua to go to the city of Esteli, an unknown city for me, with the goal of obtaining a degree in computer engineering.

My first goal was to pass the university admission exam. Thank God I made it.

I had many challenges, since my parents have few economic resources, and they cannot help me with much.

Moving out meant that I had to pay rent, food and transportation, so my goal was to have a part-time job.

After looking for work for a year with no luck, CFCA came into my life.

A classmate explained to me that she was a scholarship holder at CFCA, and that there was one opening in the program.

I went to the CFCA office with so much hope. I had an interview with the social worker, and after that, it was a matter of waiting.

In February 2009, I entered CFCA as a scholarship holder. My first experience was delivering a letter from a sponsor to the sponsored friend.

I met a very cheerful family, who asked me many questions and began telling me about their life.

I was able to see their gratitude for their sponsor. It was a pleasant day; I left satisfied.

I met many people and learned from all my experiences at the CFCA office with other scholars and the staff members.

Each day was a new experience for me. Simply helping distribute benefits was a special experience — seeing the people’s gratitude, knowing that they would no longer suffer from hunger or cold.

Little by little I began appreciating what I was doing.

With the CFCA scholarship I received, I could cover my transportation and food expenses at the university.

It was a great relief. CFCA was helping me to accomplish my goal of becoming a professional.

I completed my studies amidst many economic challenges, but that does not matter anymore.

I learned from those tough experiences and today, I appreciate what I have accomplished, as well as the many people that helped me get there.

CFCA has taught me that if we want something we can accomplish it, and that friendship is a gift from God.

I came to the city without the support to be able to complete my education. There were days that I starved, but God never abandoned us; he open many doors for me.

Later on, when I was in the fourth year of studying for my degree in computer engineering, I had my professional internship, which required my full-time attention.

I could no longer be with CFCA and sadly, I had to leave the CFCA scholarship program.

It was sad to leave my co-workers and the families served by CFCA.

God helped me find a place that would help me economically while I was doing my professional internship for six months.

During this time, I never lost contact with CFCA and after completing the internship I received some good news: I had a job proposal from CFCA to become a social worker in Nicaragua.

I was very happy to accept this opportunity, and I hope God will give me the strength to keep collaborating in this cause.

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4 thoughts on “From CFCA scholars to CFCA staffers”

    1. Verdaderamente es una experiencia unica, y un privilegio ser parte de la gran familia de CFCA

  1. Amazing stories! Keep up your excellent work and service to those who need your talent and graces. You are inspirations to so many!

  2. You are an inspiration to many CFCA sponsorees. I hope they read your testimonies to inspire them to strive despite economic challenges. Glad to be one of the sponsors and being helpful to young people. God Bless.

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