24 Aug
  • By Theresa DeSouza
  • Cause in

UPAVIM Scholars: Gustavo


Gustavo Sanic is a thirteen year old boy in the UPAVIM After School Tutoring Program who also receives a scholarship every year from the UPAVIM Scholarship fund. He attends one of the public schools in the community called Sol Naciente. His classes start everyday at 7:30 a.m. and end at 11:30 a.m. He then attends the tutoring program from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. where he works on his homework and gets help with the subjects that he had a hard time with that day. Attending the after school tutoring program is really important to Gustavo, as he must keep his grades up in order to continue receiving his scholarship each year.

P8190309Although Gustavo is thirteen years old, he is currently only in second grade at Sol Naciente. At only thirteen years of age he has already had  to overcome so much in his life. When Gustavo was younger, he lived with his five siblings and both of his parents. Resources were tight in their home and they simply did not have the the means to send Gustavo or his siblings to school. Then, three years ago, Gustavo’s father was killed.  His mom was left all alone to care and provide for her five children.

She made a decision that they all had to start school immediately. She wanted to have them studying, giving them the opportunity to do something better with their lives and, at the same time, keeping them off the streets where gang violence is all too present. On top of losing his father, Gustavo’s younger brother also died. Now Gustavo lives with just his mom and only four siblings.

[blockquote align=”right”]His biggest hope is for his community, that they will one day experience living in La Esperanza without fear and violence. Education is the key.[/blockquote]

Gustavo and all four of his siblings are currently enrolled in school. They are all in elementary school since they started so late. For Gustavo, it doesn’t matter that he has to study everyday with some kids who are half his age. He is grateful for the opportunity to learn even though he got started behind the other children his age.

Gustavo’s favorite subject is math. Subtraction and multiplication are what he really enjoys. His least favorite subject is English. “It is just so hard!” he told me. Without the scholarship he receives it would have been impossible for him to start school. Gustavo’s mom sells vegetables everyday just outside of UPAVIM. She is a hard worker and does all she can for her children, but left alone to provide for all of them has been such a challenge. Since Gustavo studies at a public school, the only costs for him to study are his school supplies and his uniform. Gustavo’s scholarship covers the cost of all his school supplies every year. It is a huge help for his mom.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGustavo told me he has three main hopes for the future. He wants to keep studying to one day become an elementary school teacher. He wants to help more kids that are just like him, while at the same time working to help his own family. His hope for his family is that all of his siblings will stay in school and continue with their studies until they all graduate. His biggest hope is for his community, that they will one day experience living in La Esperanza without fear and violence. Education is the key.
[framed_box  bgColor=”#FFFEE3″ align=”right”]UPAVIM awards over 400 scholarships each year. For Primary School and Junior High students, the $45 Beca helps to cover the cost of their uniform, basic school supplies, and supplies for them to use at the UPAVIM tutoring center.

If you would like to learn more about how you can help send students like Gustavo and his siblings to school, please visit our scholarship page. [/framed_box]