"What did your support system look like when you were growing up?"
"Every child is one adult away from being a success story." -Josh Shipp
When we started working with disadvantaged youth at UPNicaragua back in 2015 we began to reflect on how we could positively impact the girls in our program in a deeper way, we wondered"what were those elements and who were those people who helped us flourish and become the adults we are today?".
We all came to the agreement that the elements and the support systems that we all had in order to flourish was immensely complex: family, community role models, leaders, teachers, mentors, friends, care, love, attention, education, nourishment, hugs, guidance and so much more. We were surprised at the people that system included; people who are still in our lives, but also those who we have not seen in decades.
We observed that some of the girls in our program were not only lacking meals at home and access to education, they were lacking that complex support system. We agreed that we needed to start building on the larger community that could little by little start showering the UPNicaragua children with guidance, love and care.
At UPNicaragua we connect caring adults to our program who can intentionally weave that support system for the children, we encourage conversations and exchange between parents, teachers, mentors and role models in the hope that when we all learn, share and work towards the same mission of empowering our girls, the process will speed up and the risk of leaving anyone behind will be much lower.