02 Oct
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

“Making change takes one small change of attitude.”

by Courtney Cline
A few months ago we shared the story of UPAVIM sixth grader, Mishell and her powerful speech on “The Power of Education.” We are excited to share that for the 7th time this year, Mishell has used her microphone to take Villa Nueva by storm. Mishell has been competing all year in speech competitions, writing and delivering her ideas on social change. She has won several first place awards for her thoughts on education, and has traveled to Jocotenengo by special invitation to speak at a school called Escuela Proyecto La Esperanza.


For someone so small, her hopes, vision and passion are HUGE.

Mishell’s elegant, passionate speeches channel the peaceful, powerful activists of generations past. In her most recent speech, Mishell spoke about the need to make changes for a better life, free from physical and sexual violence, oppression, discrimination and lack of education. In a community where these injustices are daily realities, Mishell’s courageous voice sparks much needed hope in the hearts of everyone listening. [blockquote align=”right” cite=”Mishell”]Making change takes one small change of attitude. One small change of social consciousness.[/blockquote]

Last week at the central park in Villa Nueva, Mishell quoted Martin Luther King and spoke of Rigoberta Menchu – a Guatemalan woman and activist, advocating for the rights of Indigenous Mayans. Future advocate and activist herself, Mishell’s passionate message gives you “piel de gallina” (goose bumps), and inspires the grit to fight for a better life.

All of UPAVIM CAA from kindergarten through sixth grade paraded downtown in our decked out school buses, cheered in the crowd with whistles, stilt walkers and drummers, and danced along to the school bands that played at the end. Mishell won 2nd place, and got to take home some impressive prizes – a bike, iPad, cell phone and a bank account with 500 Quetzales. We are so incredibly proud of Mishell, and feel completely honored to teach and be inspired by this dreamer/mover/shaker/activist.

092 102

Keep your eyes and ears open for this girl, she is making the ripples of change.

120 099