Success Stories

Success Stories

Karina is a 19-year old Nicaragua woman.  She grew up in Palacaguina and was an early beneficiary of our Smiling School Kids program whereby for $80 per year American sponsors provide children with school supplies, a backpack, shoes, and a school uniform.  Karina was 12-years old when she was first sponsored by a woman in Florida.  This sponsorship continued through graduation.

The program’s significance for me was to learn the importance of sharing, not just economically but also the love of Christ.  For instance, the letters I received from people that I didn’t know in person, shared the love of Christ with me.  Karina

Karina now attends a branch campus of UNAN: (Universidad Nacional Autonomo Nicaragua) in Somoto, a city near Palacaguina.  She is in her third year there.  Although she is a full-time student, she only attends on Saturdays and will graduate after five years with a major in English.  In the meantime, she is working full-time as Office Manager at Palacaguina Christian Academy, a partner project of 516NOW.  Since it is a bilingual school this is an excellent fit for her studies and her English skills are highly valued there.

Karina has become a very valuable resource to this school.  She’s responsible, focused, motivated.  She is the only reason that my office functions the way I need it to.  Brenton Witonski, Palacaguina Christian Academy Founder and Director.
One day Yanerling Loza, Smiling School Kids Director in Palacaguina, told Katrina about a girl whose mother died.  The father is not involved with the girl’s life and so she lives with her grandmother.  “This story touched my heart,” Karina said.  And so this young girl is enrolled in the Smiling School Kids program and Karina is her sponsor.
The best part is being able to help someone the same way that the program helped me.   And since she goes to the same church as me, I get to see her at least once a week.  Karina
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