The Scholarship Fund provides financial support for young people from economically disadvantaged homes in Nicaragua to continue their high school education and/or attend higher education universities and institutions. Donors contribute all or a portion of the cost for a student to attend high school, university or a trade school.
These students come from families who can not afford the cost of education. They are highly motivated to improve their economic situation for themselves and their families. These students have the dreams but not the funds to make those dreams reality.
HOW IT GOT STARTED
Education in the public schools is not free in Nicaragua. The cost of books, school materials, uniforms, examination, etc make it prohibitive for poorer families to provide their children with the materials and supplies required to continue their education after the sixth grade. Young people in Nicaragua can stop their education at the end of sixth grade and many families with little economic resources have no alternative.
This Fund grew out of the work with La Escuelita to provide the poorest families with an educational alternative.
The Fund was started and continues to be run by a missionary couple, Penn Garvin and Douglas Orbaker, who worked and lived in Central America, and primarily in Nicaragua. In 2004, under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church, Doug began working with a Nicaraguan development organization in the capital city of Managua. Penn became involved with La Escuelita, a small privately- funded community based school, in the poorest area of Managua. Select graduates of this school are now recipients of the Fund. Penn and Doug are now retired and have returned to the United States, but they continue to talk weekly with the teachers, to raise funds, and to visit Nicaragua frequently.
In 2006 Penn and Doug started a fund to financially sponsor the three teachers at La Escuelita to complete the requirements to earn their teaching credentials. Soon there were others seeking assistance for academic study. A scholarship fund was conceived, and the Dreams to Reality Scholarship Fund was formally established under a non-profit organization, CEPAD*USA, that helps the marginalized and poor of Nicaragua.