Today, we kicked off Open Your Heart Week, a week to celebrate our work in Diria, Nicaragua, and raise funds for both the scholarship program and for school improvements at The Diria Institute, our sister school.
The Nicaragua initiative began in 2009 when Sofia Essayan-Perez, a then Grade 9 student, proposed that we adopt a sister school called the Diria Institute in a rural village in Diria, Nicaragua. Since then, our project has expanded to include three key elements: a scholarship program, a community service trip and annual school improvements.
Of the students we have sponsored since the start of the programme, we have 12 students who have graduated University and another seven students who are currently studying. Last year, thanks to The Study community's generous donations, we were able to sponsor two students! Samanta has just completed her first year in medicine, and Esmeralda has just completed her first year in the Pedagogy Program, to become a teacher, and they will both graduate in 2025.
In the last 13 years, we have made a tremendous impact on the healthcare system of a rural village. Since 2010, thanks to The Study’s Nicaragua Scholarship Program, three medical doctors have graduated and another three scholarship winners are currently studying medicine. It’s the first time that rural towns around Diria have nurses: these healthcare providers are now working on the front lines, in a rural village, in the hopes of changing their community.
To celebrate this unique partnership and reinforce the feeling of philanthropy, the entire school will be involved in an hour of giving back. On February 14, each grade is tasked with a different age-appropriate activity. From baked goods for Resilience Montreal, to menstrual products for homeless women and posters promoting pet adoption, each student will make a difference in the community.
The Study family, made up of current students, alumnae, parents, faculty and staff, have embraced this partnership and it is through everyone’s involvement, commitment and generosity that we have been able to change the world, one girl at a time.