Be A Dream Builder…!

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”   By Jesse Owens

Here we are! March is here and beginning next week, the Copey Learning Center will resume English classes on-line. For the time being, this is the new norm for this small community. The public education system began a few weeks ago and I understand there are some in-school classes being taught. However, available facility issues for the Copey Learning Center continues to be a barrier for the time being.

“Friends of Copey” has been busy helping. We successfully raised necessary funds to provide scholarships and some funds to support the Director’s salary.

Now, the latest report from Copey indicates our efforts to recruit needed volunteer teachers has been successful. With one week left before classes begin, three of the five committed teachers are connected to “Friends”. There are possibly one or two teachers who may be added. I am tempted to refer to these new volunteers as “Dream Team II”.

In the next week or two after everyone is settled in, I will provide the profiles of these amazing volunteers. You will again see the outstanding credentials, achievements, experiences most of these volunteers offer the students in Copey.

Where Are They Now?

A question often asked is “where are some of these Copey students today who traveled to the United States? Another question has been “Have we “Friends” really been helpful by encouraging learning and inspiring thoughts of new career opportunities?” Beginning this week and the next three of four weeks, I will share stories about the “Pathway Project” students and where they are now.

This week I would like to highlight 2016 Pathway Project student Noelia Monge Rodriguez.

Noelia was selected as one of the first two students to travel to the United States. She was selected because of her classroom/academic success. The “Pathway Project” is designed to encourage and reward Copey students to learn English and to pursue higher education. The students returning from the “Pathway Project” are also encouraged to be community “ambassadors for education”. We believe they should be positive educational role models for the younger students.

For a totally new project, so much trust and confidence was needed on many levels for young students being selected to travel to the United States as a participant in this new endeavor.

Noelia’s parents had to agree to Noelia leaving her community and country without any family members or relatives traveling with her. Passport issues had to be taken care of among other travel issues.

So much credit is owed to Angela Tribus Ramos, the first paid Executive Director of the Copey Learning Center. Angela, a US citizen and very familiar with domestic traveling, was so well trusted in the Copey community. She convinced parents that “Friends” could be trusted. Noelia and the students who followed for the next three years, all have participated in the “Pathway Project” because of the trust relationship between the Copey Learning Center and “Friends” that Angela helped establish.

Noelia was about 17 years old (my guess) in 2016 when she spent her two weeks in the United States. The experiences she had while in Washington, D.C. and in southwest Virginia on the campus of Emory & Henry College were rich and diverse. She was an excellent representative of the Copey community. We are extremely happy to see her continue her education and be an outstanding role model for her community, the Copey Learning Center, and certainly “Friends” of Copey”.

Noelia provided this brief update for us to share with you:

“My name is Noelia Monge Rodríguez and I went to Virginia in 2016. Returning from it, I got my English advance certification. In 2017, I started studying Engineering in Industrial Production full time. These years have been much of professional and personal growth. Always been part of groups, in 2019 I started in a cultural folklore group in the College. This is my last year in College. Right now I am in Mexico doing my professional internship for 2 months, when it ends I will go back to Costa Rica and end my degree. If all the plans are fulfilled, I will get it this 2021.”  (More photos of Noelia on Home Page.)

Next week, we will report on another Pathway Project student. Don’t Miss It!

Successful Annual Campaigns!

In case some of the “Friends” have not heard the news, we have reached and exceeded our annual fundraising goals. We are no longer trying to raise funds at this time. I suggest if you had intended to make a donation, hold on to it for the time being. We have many unanswered questions about the full 2021 school year and some limited additional funds could be needed.

At this time we are simply pleased and satisfied that we have amazingly strong financial support and interest.

Thanks to “Friends”.


2 thoughts on “Be A Dream Builder…!”

  1. You all have done an exceptional job of continuing the path for Copey. Art et al deserve so much praise, especially the families of Copey and its FRIENDS!!!

  2. I remember Noelia visiting in 2016 and had the pleasure of meeting her and sharing her native dancing with our MSHS Class of 66 50th Class Reunion. We were inspired and awed by those two young ladies. I have been a “Friend of Copey” ever since and have continued to be inspired by the efforts of the Copey community in supporting talented young students. The students and teachers are all awesome and I am delighted to be a part of this international effort. Congratulations, Noelia, on your continued success!

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