The Journey to AdulthoodDecember 13, 2022
“My vision for El Hogar is that we shift our purpose from transforming children’s lives to helping children transform their own lives. It’s a subtle though powerful shift that has deep implications in the way we do our work.”– Denise Vargas, Executive Director in Honduras
At the end of November, the third class of graduating 12th graders left the comfort and security of El Hogar to enter the world. An essential element of ensuring their success beyond graduation is the development of key life skills that will help them and all El Hogar students transition to adult life.
Most of our high school students live on campus in a boarding style residential program, and many have been in a residential setting since arriving to El Hogar at an early age. Living in a residential center provides enormous benefits, like a safe nurturing environment, a high-quality education, strong supervision, and close connection to our caring faculty and staff.
However, it is a big world outside El Hogar, and our staff firmly believes that, despite the cost and the risk, it is important for students to gain managed exposure to experiences beyond a school setting. Experiences such as deciding to use a transportation stipend on snacks and having to walk miles to an internship. Learning from these choices helps build character, resilience and maturity.
Firm in this belief, the leaders at El Hogar have worked together to develop a plan to formalize our instruction and guidance outside of the classroom by creating the Journey to Adulthood program to ease the transition from life on the campuses of El Hogar to life as an independent Honduran citizen.
The Journey to Adulthood program includes financial literacy education, seasonal employment opportunities, personal banking transactions, human rights awareness, leadership and communication, vocational education and exposure. The guidance and opportunities are geared towards our high school students, but the younger ones are also learning by example.
Since initiating the Journey to Adulthood program, staff have noticed a marked difference in each of the students, particularly the high school girls. They are more mature and have more self-confidence. They believe in themselves and that they are capable, that they don’t have to wait to be told what to do but can decide themselves. They are taking initiative and they are encouraging their peers to do the same. They are much better able to express themselves, their needs and desires, and to identify issues and offer solutions.
This program will be dynamic based on the evolving needs of our students, and we are aiming to include other activities like more opportunities to socialize with peers outside El Hogar. The counselors and residential program coordinator will require continuous training to weave the principles of this program into the daily fabric of our students lives.
To make your donation today you can click here to give to elhogar.org
or send your check to:
El Hogar Ministries, Inc.
29 Cummings Park, Suite 404
Woburn MA 01801
Thanks so much for your generous support of the children of El Hogar and for helping to provide them with the opportunities to make a successful transition to the world beyond our walls. Sincerely,
Thank you for your continued support of El Hogar!