The Amigos Academy began as a dream that is common among all parents – a better future for their children. A better future tomorrow begins with educational opportunities today. Years ago, parents in the community of La Chuscada bravely took the first step toward creating this opportunity for their children. At the time, students gathered for school under a plastic tarp, but intense, annual rainy seasons destroyed the learning environment and left the community without reliable access to education.
12-year-old Ana Patricia Serrano remembers her days as a student under the plastic tarp. “I went to school under the mango tree down the road. We had a piece of plastic to keep us dry during the rainy season, but it didn’t always work. I remember my grandmother wouldn’t always make me go to school, and that was ok. I didn’t really want to go. I had to walk a long way, and I always got wet.”
Looking at Ana Patricia today, it is difficult to imagine her as a small, wet, 5-year-old sitting under a mango tree. Today, Ana Patricia is a confident and thriving 6th grader at the Amigos Academy. Dressed immaculately in her school uniform, Ana walks the Amigos Academy school grounds with her group of girlfriends, generously giving hugs to her teachers and high-fives to her younger brother and his friends in kindergarten.
Ana Patricia has been a part of the Amigos Academy story since the beginning, and she is the first to recognize the blessing that the Academy is in her life. Reflecting on the last few years, Ana says, “I am so thankful for my school. It’s my favorite place to go. After going to school under a tree and in the wooden school, sometimes I can’t believe that I go to school here now. It feels like a dream.”
The Amigos Academy sets itself apart by offering daily, intensive English classes for each grade.
Ana Patricia also loves her math class. She excitedly tells everyone that she meets about the upcoming math team competition. “Profe José, my math teacher, has split us all into different teams. My team is awesome, and I think we will win. We have been practicing after school.” She says that math can be difficult for her, but her teacher explains concepts with patience and love. “I know I can ask questions if I don’t understand. Profe José is happy to explain everything again, and he never gets bothered.”
What started as a parent’s dream grew into a reality even greater than we could’ve imagined. Currently, the Amigos Academy provides an elite education that focuses on excellence and innovation and strives to be a model for other schools. There are 191 other students just like Ana Patricia that are experiencing love and transformation through education at the Amigos Academy.
Our commitment to empowering students does not end when they complete their time at the Amigos Academy. When Ana Patricia graduates 6th grade and leaves the Amigos Academy in December, she will receive the opportunity to enter our Leaders in Action Scholarship Program. Our generous Amigos Family helps LIA students to overcome the obstacles of tuition, transportation, and supplies costs to gain access to the best middle and high schools in the area.
This is just the beginning for Ana Patricia! We look forward to cheering her on as she uses her God-given talents to bless and transform the world, and we pray she always knows she has a home at the Amigos Academy.