Meet the Sisterhood

of Community Healers

Ivette

Ivette is beginning her fourth year of studies in English Language Translation and Interpretation. She shows a great deal of dedication to the youth in the Jóvenes en Acción youth group, and many seek her out for emotional support. Additionally, in 2019 she completed a two-year intensive facilitation training for youth leaders. In 2020, Ivette moved into the community youth center to coordinate opportunities for youth to self-organize and use the space in a meaningful way. In her own words,

"The scholarship represents an important opportunity to become a change agent in Salvadoran society. It has provided me with a great deal of support, and I am committed to this journey of growth, knowing that others are supporting me."

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Alexandra

Alexandra will be studying sociology at the National University of El Salvador. Her dream is to become a psychologist, but due to the limited numbers of spots available at the National University, she will need to study in a less popular major for one year, in order to make the change next year, grades permitting, as is the process that many students undertake in order to study the degree of their choosing at El Salvador's only public university.

Alexandra's resilience is unparalleled, and she draws from her own inner-well to serve as a support for her fellow sisters when they find themselves in crisis. She will lead the youth group, Jóvenes en Acción, when it begins again in April, 2021.

Elena

Elena is in her second year of her social work degree. She has been running a "homework club" and children's savings group in her community for several years, providing children with academic and psycho-social support. She hopes to expand the club in the coming years, and believes that her degree will complement and enrich her work with children in the community. When asked what the scholarship means to her, she stated,

"It is a big opportunity for me to pursue my goals, and it has given me hope that it is indeed possible to achieve what I set out to do. I'm hopeful knowing that people still exist who want to support us, so that together we can change the lives of future generations of young people."

Keiry

Keiry is beginning her first year in Social Work. She had decided that university education was too daunting for her, but when she saw her fellow sisters joining Nueva Esperanza, she decided to do so as well. Keiry has been an active community leader since a very young age, and continues to grow in her leadership capacities.

She will be leading the community youth group (where she also received her own education as a youth organizer many years ago), when it re-opens in April, 2021.

In her own words, "Being in the Nueva Esperanza sisterhood makes me feel accompanied and loved, because we are like one united family who support one another with everything and give one another feedback and love."

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Michelle

Michelle has been participating in classes at the Nueva Esperanza Community Center since she was 4 years old.  She has been a leader both in her community and at the municipal level, advocating for opportunities for young people, whose needs are often overlooked. She was recently elected to the local government in her community, and is serving as the youngest member in this governing body.

Michelle is in her first year of her social work degree, and is a leader of the jóvenes en acción youth group, which she has been a part of for many years.

In her own words, "Being a part of the Nueva Esperanza sisterhood has made me feel happy and loved, because we support one another, and help one another see the places we need to grow. We share our feelings, make one another laugh, and help out wherever we can."

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Jacqueline

Jacqueline is tremendously dedicated to the Nueva Esperanza sisterhood and to supporting her family and her community. She wanted to study nursing for many years, and had given up on that possibility when she became a mother. With the Nueva Esperanza sisterhood, she has reinvigorated this dream, and is now in her first year of nursing school.

She leads the community children's group, working to build her young neighbors' social-emotional skills.

Jacqueline is strengthened by the Nueva Esperanza sisterhood and stated, "My sisters give me so much love, support, advice, feedback, and trust. We understand and support one another. I feel an enormous joy in our sisterhood because they support me so well, and I feel proud of myself when I'm able to offer them my support and advice."

Araceli

Araceli had wanted to be a lawyer for many years, and had let this dream go with the many difficulties that presented themselves in her journey. The Nueva Esperanza sisterhood encouraged her to re-embrace this dream and she choose to study law. She wants to have the skills to be able to serve the many people in her country who are unjustly incarcerated, which motivates her studies.

 In her words, "The sisterhood has allowed me to make many new friends, since it is one of the places where I feel comfortable. We support one another emotionally and I feel really happy with my sisters."

The effects of historical and structural violence and oppression played out in Aracely's life in such a way that she needed to leave the country shortly after starting her degree. She remains a part of the Sisterhood, as do the dreams she started to put into action with us. We mourn the violence that mandates separation and uncertainty instead of robust, rooted, supported growth and transformation.

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Stephany

Stephany joined the sisterhood without knowing any of the other young women in Nueva Esperanza, since she is from a neighboring community without a history of youth organizing. She has integrated quickly into this new group of sisters, and stated:

"I feel good in the sisterhood because we've created strong ties with one another and we're able to offer one another support and encouragement."

Stephany is preparing to co-lead the community women's group, which will be revived in April 2021 after being dormant since 2009. She is in her first year of university and is studying journalism.

Lissette

Lissette has been active as a community leader for a number of years. She is particularly gifted at inspiring young women by sharing the story of her life and the challenges she has overcome and those she is in the midst of overcoming.

She is in her first year of her social work degree, though she has practically been acting as a "social worker" without a degree for many years. She will be supporting the revival of the community women's group, when it starts up again in April 2021, and is soaking up opportunities for personal growth and healing in the meantime.

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