Melissa Yessenia Cruz Flores, is 24 years old, her parents are Mr. Víctor Cruz Alvarado and Mrs. Maribel Flores Cruz, Melissa is one of the many young people of the municipality of San Juan del Sur who benefited from receiving a grant from the Foundation A. Jean Brugger She finished secondary school at Instituto Emmanuel Mongalo y Rubio in 2011. She was accepted into the program in 2012 when she was 18 years old.
"At the end of high school the decisions of my future depended exclusively on me and the commitment I had to the goals that I had set for myself as a child, it was a moment when they stopped being dreams and became actions to see results and that is when through my beloved aunt Dorita the opportunity to be part of the foundation was presented, at that moment my aunt, being a foundation grant holder, decideds to sacrifice her scholarship for me so that I could apply for the scholarship process. " - Melissa Cruz
Melissa came from a family of limited financial resources. Since she was a child she had to face great challenges to continue with her studies, one of them was to walk great distances to attend school. Her parents are dedicated and hard-working people, her mother is a housewife and her father works in the fields, they tried to instill in Melissa moral and social values, which made her a woman who would contribute positively to society.
"I must say that the impetus and the desire to always do things better are my family's legacy to me, from my early childhood to see my parents get up at the first crowing of the rooster with all the spirit of starting a new day of work, the commitment to improve the economic situation of the family, THIS is what drives me to be better every day. "- Melissa Cruz
Melissa was a student of the scholarship program for 5 years. She studied Industrial Engineering at the National University of Engineering (UNI) in Managua. She was sponsored by Terry and Diana Reid of the United States of America for 4 years, the last year of her career was sponsored by Dr. Gregory Houston and Karen Dovey. Melissa maintained excellent
communication with her sponsors.
“The Foundation is more than a project, it is a family, coexistence between scholarship studentss, sponsors and staff is amazing". - Melissa Cruz
Melissa graduated as an Industrial Engineer last year, before graduating she started working in a company in Managua, she was part of post sales team, she worked for 2 years in this company. In November of this year Melissa emigrated to Spain, to study for a Masters in Process Management and Quality. At this stage of her life she faces new challenges and has big goals. She is an example to follow for many young people, because despite all the difficulties that she faced throughout her life as a student, she has managed to fulfill her dreams and goals. The members of Fundación A. Jean Brugger, are very happy and proud of Melissa.
"I am leaving everything known and safe to go in search of the next step. I dream of, at some point in my life in the future, being able to stand up in front of a group of young people like me now and telling them to do it, and maybe I can plant in them the desire to want to continue in this unceasing struggle to live. This in summary is what I am" - Melissa Cruz
"Thank you very much for giving young people like me the opportunity to dream and realize our dreams given from their kind hands, here in Nicaragua they are planting in fertile soil, please continue to dream with us ". - Melissa Cruz
On Saturday November 3rd, a meeting of former Fundación A. Jean Brugger scholarship students was held at the Fundación offices. The objective was to strengthen links with the graduates, in order to maintain close communication between the graduated professionals and Fundación A. Jean Brugger.
The meeting was also an opportunity to propose new projects for the graduates to participate in. Our Executive Director Vilma Bustos, who is a former scholarship student, presented Fundación A. Jean Brugger’s actions in 2018 in support of the educational development of our community and the plans for the year 2019. She also proposed the formation of a committee of former scholarship recipients to work together with FAJB in different iniciatives.
The graduates are excited about becoming mentors to the current students. At the meeting a plan was devised so that, beginning next year, graduates can be involved in the community service projects that match their career. Of particular interest were the community service programs involving computer classes and talks on human trafficking. Some of the graduates also envisioned helping to train the current scholarship holders in teaching techniques.
The attendees also enjoyed a delicious breakfast. Fundación A. Jean Brugger thanks all the graduate students who participated in this meeting.
On November 6 the Cannonball group delivered backpacks full of school supplies to 19 children who are part of the community service project called Bio-clean, which has as its objective the empowerment of children through environmental education. Bio-clean is the community service project of the Economic Sciences students of FAJB.
The Cannonball Group is made up of American Airlines employees, along with their friends and family, who have been coming to San Juan del Sur every year since 2004. The activity began with the presentation of the service project by members of the group, including María José Sánchez Muñoz, Ingrid Pamela Pérez, Francis Aliana Quiroz, and Lidieth del Socorro Jiménez. The students explained the objectives and activities of their social initiative to the Cannonball group, which include collecting trash from the beach and making crafts from the collected materials.
For example, the students made piggy banks from discarded plastic soda bottles, which also gave the economics students the chance to teach the children about saving money. After the school supplies were delivered the children enjoyed a snack and burst a piñata. Every November Fundación A. Jean Brugger and the Cannonball Group deliver school supplies to children in San Juan del Sur, to ensure that children have the necessary materials for their studies and to help ensure a better education. Fundación A. Jean Brugger appreciates the support and participation of the Cannonball group.
Thank you Sandra Sheil, Randy Hale, Maria Teran-Hale, and Sharon Larock for being willing to come to Nicaragua at this time. Other members of the Economic Sciences community service group are Ruth Rostran, Casta Margarita Rivera, and Cesar Augusto Romero.
This year Fundación A. Jean Brugger developed a new Life Skills Program to provide more educational opportunities for our scholarship students. The latest addition to this program is an intensive Advanced Excel course. Sixteen current students and four graduates are taking the 30-hour course, given in five six-hour sessions. The first session was held Friday, October 26. This course was developed in partnership with the Polytechnic University of Nicaragua (UPOLI).
The course is being taught by UPOLI professors. This partnership has been made possible due to the close working relationship that the staff of Fundación A. Jean Brugger have developed with UPOLI over the last 12 years. Every student will receive a certificate for completion of the course. Barrio La Planta Project (BPP), located in San Juan del Sur’s ‘House of Culture,’ has graciously provided the use of their facilities and computers for this course. We thank Savannah Armstrong, director of BPP, and Professor Denis Calderón, director of the Casa de Cultura, for collaborating with us to make this program possible. We also want to thank each of the donors who helped make the Life Skills Program a reality. This Program also includes a four month, four-hours-a-week English course.
The Life Skills Program is designed to develop greater professional skills and create more opportunities for our students in the workplace.
Fundación A. Jean Brugger scholarship students in the careers of law and the humanities have developed presentations on the issue of human trafficking for their community service program. Because San Juan del Sur is close to the border with Costa Rica, the young people of this region are vulnerable to traffickers. The scholarship students have developed this program with the aim of preventing young people from falling victim to the crime of trafficking in persons.
The FAJB students are giving talks in different classes at Stella Maris, with the program adjusted to the age level of the students. On September 26 they gave a talk to 21 students, aged 16 to 19 years, who are in their final year of high school. On October 4 they presented to 44 sixth-grade students, and they will be speaking to a third class on October 17.
The community service group has also spoken at a church in Ostional, and will be visiting a school in Pochote later this year. The FAJB students worked hard to create a compelling presentation, and the Stella Maris students were very attentive, with lots of questions and comments. Part of the discussion involved Facebook and other social media, and the importance of being cautious about who you speak to on social media, and the kind of images and information you post. This initiative is a coordinated effort between the Stella Maris Educational Center and Fundación A. Jean Brugger in order to help prevent young people from falling victim to this crime.
"Trafficking in persons" means the recruitment, transport, transfer, or reception of persons, using threats or the use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deceit. It means abuse of power or abuse of a situation of vulnerability for the purpose of exploitation. ‘Exploitation’ includes, at a minimum, prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices analogous to slavery, servitude, or the removal of organs.
Scholarship students in the Economic Sciences continue their community service with the Project Bio-clean: empowerment through environmental education.
Scholarship students in Tourism and International Trade continue with their community service projects.
Scholarship students in Legal Sciences and Social Work give talks about trafficking in persons in the community El Ostional.
Assisting San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, through education and opportunity