University Program & Alumni Development
Our goal is to develop the children with whom we work for long-term independence and success on spiritual, career and emotional levels. We know that accomplishing this goal is not as easy as providing short-term benefits; however, we also know that it is well worth the effort. Because of these reasons, we have continued to provide for the alumni from the Hogar with these long-term goals in mind. We have begun to work with Transition Honduras and have also created various projects listed below that focus on the long-term well-being of youth in Honduras.
The Transition Honduras program is for youth from children’s homes where they have stayed short or long term. They believe that each youth growing up in children’s homes deserves to receive help and support in their transition from children’s homes back into society. This step is frightening for so many, as they often don’t have a network to catch them and help them start an independent life. The Transition Honduras program aims to prepare and train the youth who have left children’s homes and give them a chance to become what they dream of and get on their feet.
This organization specializes in the transition from institutional care to independent living. In their program their students receive room and board for only a few months, during which Transition Honduras helps them find jobs in areas of interest. The students will then begin to pay their rent and living expenses while under the umbrella of the organization. We are working with them to incorporate our students into their transition program. Their years of experience and their advice have been very beneficial. They also run workshops and camps where they teach life formation skills.
regarding their challenges and successes of the week. AGC considers all alumni with past academic success for this program. We have seen the development of the children through our routine check-ins and we are constantly praying for more. We have hired a social worker to serve in a more hands-on role, aiding the students with more nuanced challenges. This social worker has proven to be willing to go the extra mile, by setting up service opportunities and oftentimes providing rides for our students.
AGC has sought out skilled professionals to teach the alumni specific life skills that will help with employability. The courses aim to provide skills that enable better-paying jobs or businesses that can be run from their homes. The initial three courses are baking, driving, and beauty(manicures and hair).
The purpose of the baking class is to train the young women, who sign up, how to run a small bakery out of their homes. This class is being taught by a professional who has years of experience working from home and training others to be able to do the same. Some of the women have applied what they’ve learned to successfully sell their baked goods and earn almost double the minimum wage.
The driving class meets on Saturday afternoon with part of the group meeting virtual and part in the classroom. It’s encouraging to see the students dedicated to learning. The driving program has three parts. The first part of the six-week program is a ground school; teaching basics of safe driving, car maintenance, Honduran transit laws, and how to handle different situations that may arrive on the road. The second part is a three-hour course led by the Transit department which requires passing a written test. If they successfully complete the first two parts of the program, they will go to driving school which is ten hours behind the wheel paid for by AGC. We have had alumni graduate from the program such as Jorge, who now drives a delivery truck and makes a good salary.
The beauty program, which teaches skills that enable students to run a small beauty salon out of their homes, is taught by a professional with years of beauty experience. Furthermore, she has been entrusted by the government, for the last several years, to use her experience and train women. Upon completion of these programs, AGC offers to purchase the necessary equipment required to start a business from their home.
We know that one of the best ways to distinguish yourself in the work field is by showing your determination, willingness to follow instruction, and desire to learn by completing different levels of school. The same is true in Honduras, except they may be arguably more important in Honduras with the disparities between laborers and job opportunities so high. Because of the importance of college to job success in Honduras, we are willing to support the alumni that have already shown a dedication to their studies. When we accept a student into the program we have them sign documents agreeing to reach a certain standard of grades and behavior in order to keep them motivated. This program, we hope, will provide incentives similar to that of the academics we know of in the USA. We also know that community can be hard to come by in the post-pandemic college setting in Honduras. For this reason, we have grouped together, when possible, the students in apartments of at least four. We also have weekly reports, discussions, and zoom calls with the students regarding their challenges and successes of the week. AGC considers all alumni with past academic success for this program. We have seen the development of the children through our routine check-ins and we are constantly praying for more. We have hired a social worker to serve in a more hands-on role, aiding the students with more nuanced challenges. This social worker has proven to be willing to go the extra mile, by setting up service opportunities and oftentimes providing rides for our students.