UWC is a global movement that makes education a force to join people, nations, and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. The colleges gather students from around the world and a variety of races, ethnicities, religious affiliations, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The first college was set up in Wales in 1962, and there are now 17 schools around the world. Their mission is to teach the leaders of tomorrow the value of social responsibility, conflict resolution, and mutual understanding.
Every year, students from 155 countries are selected through national committees. The selection process is based on the merits and potential of the candidates, both academic and extracurricular. I was one of the fortunate 11 Venezuelans chosen to attend UWC in the 2[phone redacted] academic year, out of 700 contestants.
Academically, I consider myself a hard-working and passionate student. Last year (2017) I graduated with honors from the Venezuelan Bachelor of Science with a GPA of 18.5/20. I am also an avid participant of extracurricular activities, especially sports. Over the years I have been part of football, baseball, basketball, horse riding, and swimming teams. Those activities have taught me the value of teamwork and the importance of each contribution to reach a goal.
On April 2017 I received the incredible news that I had been awarded a 75% scholarship to attend UWC Dilijan College in Armenia. Given my family’s economic situation, however, I can’t afford the remaining 25% of the cost. That 25% is the reason I come to you today. On that 25% rest my future and contributions to the UWC community as the second Venezuelan to ever attend UWC Dilijan.
With the support of my National Committee and the generosity of wonderful people who sponsored me through this crowdfunding, I have raised funds to cover part of my tuition for the 2[phone redacted] school year. However, I still must pay the amount corresponding to my second year of IB study, the 2[phone redacted] academic year. Both years add up to USD 12,000, plus the platform rate of 5% for GoFundMe.
In 2012, my father started dialysis to treat a renal failure, which caused him serious disabilities. Since then, our only financial support is my mother. Given Venezuela's economic situation, his illness has posed an enormous challenge. A dentist, my mother has had to work extremely hard to provide my sister and I with enough food and education.
Unfortunately, our situation grew grimmer in 2013, when I suffered an accident and lost my left kidney. The costs of surgery and rehabilitation have increased the financial strain on my family. Rather than dwell on the accident, however, I have come to see it as a new opportunity. I like to believe that life gave me another chance to make the most out of it. Now, everything I accomplish is a way to say thank you and bring joy to my doctors, my family, and friends.
Venezuela is facing the worst socioeconomic crisis of its history and, for now, our future as a nation is blurry. I want to be part of my country’s reconstruction and strongly believe the knowledge and experience acquired in UWC Dilijan College will give me the tools to pursue that mission.
I am and will be forever be thankful for whatever support you can offer me; every contribution is of great importance in the pursuit of my dreams. There are many ways to change the world. I’ll make sure your contribution is one of them.
This campaign is being organized with the help of UWC Venezuela Committee and friends. The donated money will go to the bank account of Daniel Castro: He is an active member of AVEMUNDO (UWC National Committee of Venezuela), the organization that chose me to study at UWC Dilijan College. Daniel is the ex president of the National Committee. Nowadays, he is a member of the Venezuela UWC Alumni and manages UWC Venezuela Inc.
The funds raised have the sole purpose of covering the amount of money that is lacking for my scholarship.
[New update: November 10, 2017]
Nowadays I study at UWC Dilijan, live in a beautiful campus, in a wonderful country, and with people coming from places I didn't even know. Being here I've found joys, responsibilities, occasionaly obstacles, but always support from those souls from different cultures.
Being here I discovered I'm passionate about economics and art. I realized that I want to spend the rest of my days for the recovery of Planet Earth, and that african music is my favourite.
Being here I've learnt that laughter sounds the same in any language, that you don't need to be born in a country to feel as a part of it, that receiving a smile at breakfast time can make your day better. I've discovered the beauty of finding new places, those that I would have never been able to go before this unique and great opportunity I've lived for three months now.
[New update: June 25, 2018]
My life has changed after I culminated my first year at UWC Dilijan.
Academically, I could understand the reasons behind the crisis my country is facing and the solutions that can be applied to make it better off, Economics increased my hopes for Venezuela.
This year has allowed me to contact my artistic side and the passion for nature by filling my eyes with the beauty of Armenian landscapes. I discovered that being part of the Student Council really fascinates me and gave me the chance to presence my first snowfall.
Without a doubt, my best gift at this Caucasus land is friendship. I have met amazing people from all over the world: my brothers are from Syria, Russia and Japan, my best friends from Mexico, Germany and El Salvador; Italy, Latin America, Poland, Russia and Portugal are the places where my angels live; I have received the best life advice from Afghanistan; and can ensure that Armenia is filled with the kindest citizens on the globe. All my fellows and teachers in Dilijan have given me countless memories and lessons; all of them have been for me unconditionally in the darkest times.
I truly love studying in UWC and can’t wait to start my second year.
If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact me or the UWC Venezuela Committee here:
email: [email redacted]
Venezuela National Committee: AVEMUNDO
- Cristhian Da Silva
- Paul MIDHA
- Leo Nieman
- Layal Takieddine
- Thea Nissen
Organizer and beneficiary
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