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12 to Finish College

Organized by: Yorleni Cascante Salazar

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THE STORY:

Hello everyone. Many of you know me and might remember my passion and determination to finish my degree in engineering. I was very lucky that I had the opportunity to complete one more year in the US, but a variety of circumstances took place, and I was obligated to leave the United States and come back to my home country, Costa Rica. I love being back home and I am thrilled because after three years I was able to see my family again. Now it is time for me to keep moving towards my goal. This is why I am reaching out to my friends abroad to seek support and motivation to accomplish something that will change my life forever.

I am the oldest one of a family of five, my two younger sisters never completed High School and none of us have had the opportunity to finish college. My dad just completed third grade and my mom barely finished High School. Now the torch is passing down to my nieces and nephews which have no role models to follow and one of them already quieted school, he is just 14 years old.

I want to become the first person in my family to graduate from college. I want to show them that we can break that cycle and accomplish our dreams. I will be the first college graduate of my family but I need a little help to accomplish it. I currently work in a call center, learning English was a huge advantage for me. This is the best paying job I can find without a college degree but I only make two dollars per hour which barely covers my mom’s and my living costs.

Costa Rica is a beautiful place, but it is very expensive to live here. I won’t be able to afford to go to college on my own. If I can find the funds I will be able to finish my Bachelors in engineering in two and a half years. My entire tuition will cost me no more than twelve thousand dollars, but for me it’s a huge burden.

I am a good student, last year I aced all my calculus, physics and chemistry subjects, and I left the US with a 3.89 GPA. I have determination and passion. My goal is to help my country to reach the highest levels in green technology, and to be part of the renewable energy research. Last year Costa Rica achieved 99% of renewal energy for 75 days and 285 days of producing electricity without the need of fossil fuels. In 2010 I volunteered for the Plasma Physics laboratory here in Costa Rica and without any technical or educational training I was able to assist in the design of the gas injection system for the vacuum chamber. I had the privilege to work with former NASA astronaut Franklin Chang’s team in Liberia and learn from them.

I can assure you that I have the drive and the commitment to accomplish more in my life. I will show my family that we are capable, we are smart and we can break the poverty cycle which not only affects our quality of life but also our souls. And only, just only with a goal in mind and passion in our hearts we can reach our craziest dreams. I am only reaching out to my closer friends that I know abroad, but you that know me feel free to spread the word to your closest friends and colleagues so that my network will hopefully increase.

Thank you for your kindness and love.

Yorle

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Yorleni Cascante Salazar

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