We’ve known Jahayra for many years now, since our first year taking service groups to Franco Bidó in 2003. At that time, she was a painfully shy girl with big glasses and her nose in a book at almost all times. In time, the shyness faded, but the bookishness didn’t: we noticed her outstanding achievements in school – consistent A’s – and knew EAB had to make our best efforts to accompany her into and through both high school and college.
And in December 2015, she made it, graduating from UASD (the D.R.’s most prestigious public college) in education, the first student in her community to earn a college degree. In that time, we’ve seen her influence and confidence grow. She has helped mentor other students, and taken on more of a leadership role in the community, especially when US service groups are present. Many younger students in the mountainous area where she lives cite her as an example. “If Jahayra did it, I can too.”
Que así sea – may it be so!