With our early morning coffee, we open our newspaper. The headlines read: “5 dead and 3 survivors.” Its seven a.m. and it is way too early to be reading gruesome news. Some read about the event, others live in its reality every day. Vulnerable youth in Latin America face life-threatening occurrences, with little to survive with, so many are scared to attend school and had lost hope on a better future.

In the specific case of El Salvador almost 90% of low-income youth do not complete secondary school and only 5% is able to pursue higher education. Among the main reasons for this is the lack interest and resources. Through Mentoring International, a new path is being offered. By inspiring and supporting youth to define and achieve their academic and professional goals new opportunities are going to be opened, breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and violence that many countries in the region have.

In order to make young adults more competitive in the globalized world, it is imperative that they know and dominate a foreign language. Mentoring International, provides an online platform to practice English by communicating with young professionals living all over the world. This also helps students to get to know about other countries and cultures.

A survey conducted with high school students participating in the program in 2013 revealed that after finishing high school, 70% of them were interested in pursuing higher education. Some might not be able to make it straight to university and are going to be forced to work to help their families, but hopefully are going to be able to follow the example of their mentors and access a higher education institution in the future.

Through the program, we inject a positive influence and try to give others with economic limitations a fair shot to a successful future.

“The program showed me that in this world nothing is impossible, and that anyone can excel when you propose to do it, each of the mentors are an example of perseverance.”