In Santa Barbara the majority of children go to school until about grade 6. Lack of secondary schools in some rural areas, the cost of school uniforms and school supplies, combined with desperate poverty means that many students do not attend or complete high school.
Our program in Santa Barbara had 34 students in the 2021 school year – 24 high school students and 11 university students. We believe that we will have 3 high school graduates this year and 3 university graduates.
The students are selected from those recommended by teachers and community, based on need and academic record. Ovan Castellanos (pictured left) is the administrator of the program.
High school scholarships cost $375 per year and Ovan purchases the required supplies for students. Supplies are issued twice a year after Ovan receives the school marks for each student. He also emails all sponsors once a year with an update on their student.
The cost of a university scholarship is $500 per year. Most students need to live in San Pedro Sula to study and for these students the real cost is about $3,000 per year so most work while studying. The $500 gives them a great leg up to buy the initial books and equipment to get started.
Ovan Castellanos receives part of his salary from the community of Santa Rita where he teaches computer programming. A portion comes from HELP Honduras for administration of the scholarship program and to cover his wages for teaching computer classes on Saturday for vocational students who are apprentices and not in school full time.