Another year gone by and another story of growth and evolution; different from years in the past where Asociacion CREAR experienced the bulk of their change externally, the biggest change of 2015 came from within. After four years of dedicated service, Johannah Waite resigned from her position as Developmental Director inspiring a radical renovation of the internal structure of CREAR. She maintains a presence at CREAR as a member of the Board of Directors, a new component brought on by the recent restructuring. Her legacy lives on through the recently revised internship program that she organized as a way to offer serious volunteers a more personal and rewarding experience, in turn having a greater impact. This program saw tremendous success in the past year as it targeted several projects and areas to improve with considerable efforts. Most notably, the English language program saw a drastic increase in attendance and overall retention rate.
Rising to the challenge of inherited sole leadership, Andrea Keith maintained the usual activities and saw through the execution of several new initiatives. Perhaps the most impressive being the girl’s empowerment group. Made possible through a grant match via the Guanacaste Community Fund, this program offered local teenage girls access to classes and seminars on self-identity, self-esteem, and goal-setting, as well as topics such as sexual education and organic cooking. The program also involved overnight excursions, teaching the girls to deal with their emotions through journaling, and a mentorship program that has introduced several local, hard-working women as role models and even placed one young woman in a work experience shadowing the veterinarian. Additional information about the girl’s empowerment group is provided at the donation page.
Another exciting addition to CREAR’s offering this year were technology classes offered through an organization appropriately called Level Up Village, ¨LUV¨ for short. This company sells courses in the latest technology to classrooms in the United States and for each course sold; they donate one to a partnering organization abroad. By being a partnering organization, Asociación CREAR has been able to put together a full computer lab, equipped with a 3D printer. This opportunity has truly taken CREAR to the next level by allowing them to offer the kids instruction and access to cutting edge technology.
After an enduring year, encouragement came to Andrea Keith as she was recognized and awarded for her outstanding leadership with Asociación CREAR and the tremendous social impact brought on as a result of it. Premio Yo Creo, is the official title of the award given by the Universidad Latina in Costa Rica. Andrea competed at the national level for the title and was rewarded an opportunity to travel to Honduras for professional development at a conference for social entrepreneurs. Recharged and freshly inspired by this experience, Andrea looks forward to putting her big ideas for the new year in action with the help of your donations and the hope of additional grants.