Ariana…Looking Back…Seeing Today!

Where is Ariana Now? (Part 1)

The Pathway Project began in 2016 involving Copey Learning Center students coming to this country, visiting Washington, D.C., and then spending about ten days in southwest Virginia on the campus of Emory & Henry College. As planners, we acted mostly on faith that this project would all work out. And, it did work out…extremely well.  Photo: Ariana is second from your right. In 2017, we conducted our second Pathway Project following basically the process with two more Copey Learning Center students who spent time touring Washington, D.C., and then traveling to Emory & Henry College.

On this second visit, Ariana and her classmate Fatima made the journey. Both were selected for the Pathway Project because of their academic success at the Copey Learning Center. Photo: Ariana in the foreground.

We are focusing today on Ariana and her life five years after her participation in the Pathway Project. This is part of her story:

Ariana, long before her travel to the United States, had been exposed to opportunities to hear and speak English in her small community, Copey. Mila, Ariana’s mother, was and continues to be a wonderful host for many of the visiting volunteers who come to Copey to teach English at the Center. In the earlier days, these volunteers came from the Peace Corps and other agencies to teach English. These volunteers stayed at Ariana’s home. Later, more of the volunteer teachers have been affiliated with ‘Friends of Copey” and also stayed at Ariana’s home. Consequently, Ariana from these volunteers, attended the Copey Learning Center, and developed English communications skills which earned her the trip to the United States.  

Emma Terry, the current volunteer teacher at the Copey Learning Center, recently interviewed Ariana. Now, five years later we can ask Ariana about her life today, and if learning English, attending the Copey Learning Center, and traveling to the United States made a difference in her life. A few of the questions and comments are provided.


What are your current educational and occupational goals?

Ariana’s Response:

I am currently studying English at Universidad Americana English Teaching. I plan to use English either as a high school teacher or finding an American company to work for in Costa Rica. I am also interested in studying tourism in the future, as there are many opportunities to speak English in that career field.

I am also working at an Apple call center in San Jose. The job pays well and allows me to continue my studies and and advance my career.


How valuable was your trip to the United States, Washington, D.C., and the time spent at Emory & Henry College?

Ariana’s Response:

This trip allowed me to experience many new things, such as flying in an airplane, trying American cuisine, and seeing a ballet performance. This trip provided me ample opportunities to practice English. It was challenging in many ways, since native English speakers spoke very fast and used different vocabulary than she was used to. Photo: Ariana on the left.

Over the course of the 2 week trip, I grew more accustomed to how United States citizens speak English. It was really hard understanding numbers when we went shopping because the people would say them so fast! It would take me much longer to say the numbers. I am still in contact with some of the people I met at Emory and Henry College.


How has learning English been valuable as you move into adult and motherhood?

Ariana’s Response: 

I have a seven month old son, Thiago, and I am already practicing English with him.

We watch movies and sing songs in English to help him learn. Learning is easier at the younger age.

I hope Thiago will attend the Copey Learning Center program in the future. I hope he will speak a lot of English with me.

Final Words…!

This is the first part of Ariana’s story. We will complete the interview results in the next Post.

Ariana’s journey helps us better understand and appreciate the value of a strong community, strong family support, and devoted external support from “Friends of Copey”.

Her life has great promise along with the other lives in her family. As others who attended the Copey Learning Center, and those fortunate enough to participate in the Pathway Project, the future looks promising. Their roads in life now have different destinations to consider and they have the skills to be a success.

This story makes me so proud of what you…”Friends of Copey” accomplishes time and time again.





One thought on “Ariana…Looking Back…Seeing Today!”

  1. This post made me so thankful during a time when we are celebrating Thanksgiving in our country. I am so happy to read all of the positive and exciting news for Ariana and to know her son will also benefit from his mother’s time at Copey and visiting America. To know that there are many others who have gained so much from the gifts of the volunteers, teachers, administrators, and Arthur “Scrapper” Broady is certainly a reason to give thanks.

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