Photo: Rebecca S. welcoming new families to the program! (Photo from January 2020)
This is such a special time of the year at Common Hope. Not only does January 1st present a fresh start to a new year, but this season marks the start of the school year and 200+ new students joining the ranks of “Common Hope Students” and future alumni!
Last November, despite a pandemic and distance learning challenges, Common Hope celebrated 172 graduates! These students are making their way into the world of work and becoming agents of change in their communities to make a better Guatemala. As these students head into jobs and careers and new beginnings, Common Hope is busy prepping for a whole new class of aspiring graduates!
This month, social workers began onboarding 220 new students from 136 new families as they start their partnership with Common Hope. Each year, growing success means more and more graduates (from 161 in 2019 to 172 in 2020 – a 7% increase) are leaving Common Hope prepared for the future. Common Hope is thrilled that this success means the opportunity to welcome more and more new affiliates (Common Hope’s term for new students, families, and siblings) each year.
This year’s new families represent students of all ages, from four years old to 18 years. In all, Common Hope students represent 123 schools throughout 27 communities. The team is excited to bring hope and opportunity into their lives!
The new affiliates’ commitment comes in the midst of a pandemic – one that makes navigating the educational landscape an even greater feat (as you know if you were able to join the 35th Anniversary Zoom Series: The Power of Education on February 15). Common Hope is here to support their journey.
There is no denying the POWER OF HOPE that surrounds these new family members. After waiting months––sometimes years––and completing an extensive interview and verification process, families that meet the defined criteria are welcomed as the organization’s newest partners in hope.
“We see families with happy tears when they learn they will become a part of the Common Hope familia,” shared Rebecca Sanborn, Country Director. “The affiliation team works closely with the social work team to make sure that every family understands what this new partnership will mean and what resources are available to them. There are many amazing parts of the Common Hope model but one of the most significant is the customized, individualized way that the team works with each family to meet their individual needs.”
Even in a pandemic, the commitment of inspired social workers is clear. This team is meeting each family at their home in a safe way to ensure that the power of this partnership is the foundation for all things to come.
So, on behalf of the Common Hope team, BIENVENIDOS A LA FAMILIA!