By Jordan Kimbrell, Unbound writer/editor
Most mornings, Yurani walks alone to the bus that takes her to the local university, a short 15-minute ride away.
Though she walks alone, Yurani knows she has her family and the entire Unbound community beside her.
Before heading off to catch a bus, Yurani helps her younger brother, Daniel, make the bed. Some weekdays, she also helps her mother prepare lunch for the whole family.
For Yurani, cooking meals is one of her favorite chores, and it gives her good practice for her studies. Yurani is studying gastronomy, or the art and science of gourmet cuisine.
“When I was younger my dream was to be a chef,” Yurani said. “[Now] my dream is to have my own restaurant.”
With her studies, Yurani is learning everything she needs to accomplish both dreams.
“I am learning how to cook and bake,” she shared. “I am also learning accountancy, public relations, protocol, bar service, how to make cocktails and many other things.”
Before becoming an Unbound scholar, Yurani had difficulty paying for her university studies.
As a scholar, Yurani receives a scholarship from the Unbound Scholarship Program. As part of her scholarship, Yurani completes service hours by working with the local mothers group.
“Now, it is easier to get my education thanks to being a scholar,” she said, “and working with the mothers groups I have developed my skills. I was shy and now I can talk to the public thanks to the mothers groups meetings at Unbound. I have turned into a leader.”
When not at school or helping at the Unbound office, Yurani spends time at home with her family. She eats dinner with them every night and enjoys helping her siblings with their homework before working on her own.
With the support of her family and her experience with the mothers group, Yurani is gaining the confidence she needs to be successful in her future goals.
“I feel proud of myself,” Yurani said, “because I found a career that I really like and am working hard in my university. I’m also proud of being able to work with mothers groups and overcoming my fear of talking to the public.”
Want to help other scholars just like Yurani? Donate to the Scholarship Fund today!
Our communications correspondent in Colombia contributed information and photos for this report.