In the spring of 2020, the moment arrived when our first sponsored student was finishing high school and questions began to emerge about what would happen afterward, both with her and with the rest of the students to follow. Seeing the need, Makarios leadership and staff began dreaming of ways to serve our students beyond high school and seeking direction and wisdom from God.
Ultimately the University and Career Readiness Program was created to offer our graduates the opportunity to continue chasing their dreams. For some, it means a chance to pursue professional training in order to find meaningful employment. For others, it means receiving assistance to attend college. Our hope is to see graduates become professionals who are academically, morally, and spiritually equipped to face the challenges of life, be productive in society, and experience the transformation of the Gospel in all areas of their lives.
Libny, a Makarios teacher, was asked to coordinate this new program, and she quickly assembled a team. The team has worked tirelessly to create a program to meet the educational, vocational, and spiritual needs of our students.
We began with one student in 2020 and as of June 2021, six more students have been interviewed and accepted into the program. In the next four years, we hope to have 45 students participating in this life-changing program.
We are confident that this program will have a HUGE impact on the Makarios students, their families, and their communities for generations to come.
The University and Career Readiness Program provides:
Despite a major hurdle, we see God's provision for our Haitian students.
In the process of developing the program, we discovered that it would be very difficult for our Haitian students to be accepted into universities due to the lack of official citizenship or legal residency documentation. Some of them are lacking basic paperwork or a passport. For some, they are without a country, being born in the DR to Haitian parents without being recognized by either country.
At the beginning, our hearts were broken because every path appeared impossible for our Haitian students to continue studying. But we began to pray and trust that this too was within God’s control and was part of His plans. God showed up! An institution that operates to advise and work with cases just like this contacted Makarios and offered to walk alongside us in the lengthy and confusing legal process. Libny shares that "by the grace of God and as a reminder that nothing is impossible for our Lord and Savior, now our students are halfway through the process of obtaining the necessary documents to be accepted into a university".
In order for these students to begin their studies, it will take significantly more time than it will for our Dominican students, but we are hopeful that they will be able to fulfill the dream of becoming professionals. While their documents are being processed, our leaders are creating a schedule to provide technical courses, trainings, and mentorship. We are thankful to have learned about these obstacles early on, so that we can be better prepared to help the Haitian students who are still in high school. God is good!
Here are some of our other stories of change.