Jaime Obando is our newest sponsor. He and his wife Laura signed on this week during our Spark Hope campaign to sponsor Dennis, a fifth grader in San Miguel Milpas Altas. When corresponding about his sponsorship, we discovered something extra special about him: Jaime used to be sponsored by Common Hope himself. He graduated as an engineer in 2010, and he is the first former student to sponsor a student of his own.
For a long time, Jaime has striven to give back for the help he received. “I have always had this feeling inside of me,” he says, “wondering how I can return the education that I received from Common Hope. I helped friends in other NGOs, I helped my community group in San Pedro las Huertas—always sharing ideas, finding ways to develop and giving tools to success.” In sponsoring, Jaime says, “My wife and I had this idea to help other kids like me.”
The difference his sponsors made is clear for Jaime: “They helped me get the education I needed to succeed, even if they didn’t know me.” I asked him about what has changed in his family’s circumstances since he was a child. “Everything has changed,” says Jaime. “We have a decent house with a big yard. My parents are retired. They don’t have to work as hard for us as they did in the past, when my mom worked as a housekeeper and my dad as a gardener. My parents can relax more and do what they enjoy doing—for my mom that’s quilting, and for my father that’s gardening. They are so proud of my success, but I know there were a lot of people involved in it, and for all my life, I’m going to remember where I came from, who I am, and how I achieved this.”
Thanks so much, Jaime, for sharing your story and paying it forward. You are an inspiration to so many students working hard on their goals, and to so many sponsors helping them get there.