Sponsoring the Transformation Process
Transitioning from elementary to secondary school should be automatic. Yet, for some, this is only a dream. Almost one half of Belize’s children cannot afford to attend secondary school. This reality makes PathLight’s Sponsorship Plus Program ever more important, especially given the new socio-economic challenges of the Covid pandemic.
At PathLight, the pandemic became a catalyst for expansion and innovation. For the first time, PathLight welcomes 175 scholarship recipients for the new 2021–2022 school year. Of these, 61 students are new scholarship recipients. A total of 31 students will start secondary school and 29 will begin vocational training program or attend a university.
As we approach the re-opening of schools, PathLight’s resource centers are once again teeming with excitement. Students are getting to know each other, picking up their school books and uniforms, confirming their tuition payments and preparing for online classes. Because school is re-opening through a virtual learning modality, PathLight’s resource centers have transformed into classroom spaces.
PathLight provides students with access to digital learning devices (laptops), internet access, funds for passage to and from our centers, and a warm meal. Recognizing the individual needs of each student is also important to us. We continue to provide one-on-one tutoring and Christian mentoring. In this school year, recognizing the immense emotional toll of the pandemic, we have added mental health support as a part of our comprehensive package of services.
In fact, for this 2021–2020 school year, PathLight is also embarking on a pilot research study to document the efficacy of its sponsorship program. After 13 years of successful programming, PathLight is ready to tell its story in a way that will help Belize to shape new afterschool programs for the benefit of students countrywide. Our focus is on building resilience and spiritual development, which are two of the foundational traits of Christian leadership.
Thanks to the support of our donor community, we are able to invest in transforming the lives of our children. Through our sponsorship plus program, we are faithful to our mission of transforming Belize through education.