Not long after we started our program in Belize, we received this note from the local Peace Corps volunteer regarding one of our sponsored students:
"Last week I was walking back from the main store in Armenia and I saw one of the High School Scholarship recipients, Concepciona. I flagged her down and we walked together toward our homes. I asked her how everything was going. Her face completely lit up and she talked a mile a minute about how great school is, how excited she is to be sending emails to her friends in other villages she never gets to see, and how much fun she is having. I’ve known Concepciona for over a year and a half. She is exceptionally shy, quiet, and reserved. The person who was talking to me as we were walking was nothing like the Concepciona I knew before. She didn't stop talking, it seemed like her self-confidence had sky-rocketed, and she was walking with her head up (instead of directly on the ground in front of her)." PathLight donors and volunteers make a difference by allowing God to work in the lives of students like Concepciona; offering hope and building their faith and self-confidence. As these students mature, we see them begin to impact others as well; in their own schools, families and communities. Partnering with PathLight is an opportunity to make a difference that will have a lasting impact.
PathLight has three areas of service; high school education sponsorship, teacher training conferences and short-term mission teams. Each of these is done in collaboration with local counterparts.
Our most well-known program is our high school sponsorship. All of the students in this program would not be attending high school without PathLight's direct involvement. These students come from rural communities and live below the poverty line, and although they have the desire and aptitude for higher education, they would most likely be doing manual labor without these sponsorships. PathLight sponsors are making a huge difference, without them, our high school program would simply not be possible.
PathLight's teacher training conferences have been enormously successful in past years. Hundreds of Belizean teachers have come to improve their skills and become more competent teachers. Not only do these teachers learn how to enhance the learning environment in their own classrooms, but they actively share their new skills with colleagues, increasing the widespread and lasting effects of this program. Due to its popularity, school principals are asking PathLight to expand this program to allow more teachers to attend. PathLight's quality standards have earned this conference accreditation from the Ministry of Education, and the feedback we have received from past attendees has made us confident that those who contribute to our teacher training conferences are indeed making a significant difference in the quality of education in Belizean classrooms.
Participants on service teams often report that they received more than they gave, and they definitely give a lot. Educational service teams have exposed young students to music, computers and photography, subjects which their schools are unable to provide. Construction teams have repaired leaking roofs, replaced dirty floors and built entire buildings for the schools which are often under funded and overcrowded. Volunteers on these teams have made a big difference in the quality of education in these rural schools.
What is it like to be part of a volunteer service team?
What can I do to help without traveling to Belize?
How do I know that my participation is making a difference?
How are students selected for sponsorship?
How does PathLight protect the identities of students and sponsors?
I'm a sponsor, can I visit the student that I support?
How do sponsors and students communicate?
Does PathLight have a statement of faith?
How can you be a Christian organization and yet work with public schools?
Why focus on education?
How was PathLight started?
Why is PathLight focusing on Belize?
How can I support a student in high school?
Is a gift tax deductible?