Support Ivin and Fany at John Carroll University

Ivin and Fany’s story
     Ivin and Fany Medina Matute are Honduran college students at John Carroll University seeking support for some of their educational and personal expenses. Born into a poor family in rural Honduras, they have overcome much adversity on their way to JCU.
     About 11 years ago, their mother found herself with 6 children she was unable to care for in the way she wanted. Out of love for her children, she placed them in the care of a well-known, private, Catholic child services organization, Sociedad Amigos de Los Niños, which cared for Ivin and Fany (and their siblings) and provided education through high school.
     Identified as having high academic talent, Ivin and Fany were able to move to Canada in January 2017 to begin their college journey thanks to the support of Friends of Honduran Children in Peterborough, Ontario and many other kind people. They attended Fleming College, where they took academic English courses and completed two-year degrees in business (graduating in May 2019).

Ivin and Fany are continuing their education at John Carroll University
     I have known Ivin and Fany for several years, having met them in 2012 and subsequent years during the annual JCU medical immersion trip to the community where they lived. I knew they were special young women from the moment I met them. They contacted me about a year ago expressing their desire to continue their education at John Carroll and to earn bachelor’s degrees in business, seeing this as the best way for them to live productive and meaningful lives and to assist their family.
     Thanks to the JCU Enrollment Division, the JCU President, and a very generous donor, Ivin and Fany were accepted to JCU with full scholarships covering all tuition and fees (~$43,000 per year for each them!), where they are continuing their studies in the Boler College of Business. With the way their credits transferred, they will need at least three years to complete bachelor’s degrees at JCU. They are at the end of their first semester at JCU, completing courses in areas like economics, business calculus, entrepreneurship, and marketing. It has been an incredible blessing to have them as part of the JCU community.

The costs
     Ivin and Fany are living with JCU faculty families who are providing their room, board, and clothing expenses (Fany lives with my wife Fran and me, while Ivin lives with another faculty couple). Even with tuition, room, board, and clothing costs covered, there are several expenses for which financial support will be gratefully appreciated (we have already spent nearly $4000 since August on these items). These expenses include, for each of them:
·         health insurance ($47/month) and cell phone/data plans ($22/month; they own their phones).
·         textbooks and other supplies, e.g. notebooks, software, planners (JCU estimates textbook costs of $650 per student per semester—that is almost exactly what we spent for the Fall 2019 semester)
·         new laptops (purchased for $919 each; one-time expense)
·         miscellaneous health expenses such as copays, vaccines, prescriptions, and dental care (not covered by their health insurance); these are difficult to estimate.
·         If they learn to drive (which they would like to) there will be expenses for driver’s ed and car insurance
·         at some point they will each need to purchase several business attire outfits for required internships.

     Therefore, minimum annual expenses simply for textbooks ($2600), health insurance ($1128), and phone/data plans ($528) are ~$4250. While we don’t know what their medical and dental expenses might be (thankfully Ivin and Fany are healthy and do not have any chronic health conditions), it is easy to imagine that could amount to $1000 or more each year. Therefore, to cover at least two years of textbooks, phones, and medical/dental costs as well as their new laptops, we are initially seeking to raise $12,000.

How you can help
It has been an international team effort involving dozens of people in Canada and the US to support Ivin and Fany to this point. We would love to have you be part of that team and to support these remarkable young women as they seek to better their lives and the lives of their family members. We will be very grateful for any support you can offer, both financial and helping us get the word out by posting the link for this GoFundMe on Facebook and other social media.
     Financial contributions can be made electronically through this GoFundMe page (click on the Donate button at the top of the page), and checks can be mailed to Jim Lissemore, Biology Dept., John Carroll University, 1 John Carroll Blvd., University Heights, OH 44118. Anyone wishing to contribute using Venmo can contact me through the contact link below to discuss that. This page can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, What’s App, email, and text by clicking on the Share button at the top of the page. Thank you for your help!


  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
  • Maryellen Callanan 
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
  • Brian J. Smith 
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 6 mos
  • Timothy Persons 
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
See all


Jim Lissemore 
Cleveland, OH
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more