04.30.24 / Category: Impact - Grant Awards

How We Work To Remove Barriers of Education – Volume 2, Episode 9: Cooperative for Education

The next episode of the Circle of Sisterhood’s vlog series is here! Check out the impact we have been able to make through the grants awarded to Cooperative for Education (CoEd), including a grant supported by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Panhellenic community. Focused on helping indigenous girls in Guatemala, CoEd is truly making a difference. Tune in to learn more about how they are helping to empower girls and break the cycle of poverty through education!

About Cooperative for Education

Cooperative for Education is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty in Guatemala through education. Indigenous girls face a lifetime of poverty, illiteracy and discrimination. The Rise Youth Development Program (Rise) is centered on enrolling indigenous girls in school and guiding them to achieve the crucial milestone of high school graduation, recognized by USAID as pivotal for breaking the cycle of poverty among Guatemalan youth. Rise identifies promising students at risk of dropping out and supports them by covering educational expenses and offering holistic support services and personal development opportunities to propel them to the next stage of their education.

In partnership with the Circle of Sisterhood, in 2020, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville panhellenic chose to extend a $10,000 grant to Cooperative for Education, supporting 537 girls to remain in school and pursue brighter futures through the Rise program. This grant facilitated the launch of a new youth development curriculum, incorporating material from the USAID-developed “Emprender con Exito” curriculum, aimed at equipping Guatemalan youth with essential skills for academic and life success. This investment in resources ensures the sustainability of the curriculum for years to come.

In 2022, Cooperative for Education received an additional $10,000 grant from CofS to bolster the Rise program, enabling full support for 10 girls within the program. Since our initial support in 2020, the program has expanded to assist 820 students, comprising 653 girls and 167 boys, through a comprehensive blend of academic support, personalized follow-up, and personal development opportunities.

Remarkable outcomes have emerged from the Rise program: 80% of girls enrolled graduate from high school, a stark contrast to the fewer than 10% graduation rate without this support. Furthermore, 90% of Rise graduates either pursue further studies or secure employment, typically earning wages four times higher than their parents. According to USAID, these graduates will attain sustainable livelihoods, ensuring a lifetime free from poverty. Thus, a six-year investment in a student translates into a 60-year return, with the student spending their entire life above the poverty line.