February 17, 2016
It is with heavy hearts that we share the news on the passing of our beloved Atrapasueños leader, and VISIONAR pioneer, Graciela “Cheli” Asís de Lombardi.
Back in 2007, I traveled to my hometown of San Francisco, Argentina, with a dream, that was to help outstanding students get a college education and reach their professional and personal goals. Miss Evelina Feraudo, founder of Atrapasueños, kindly opened the doors of her organization to implement the scholarship program that we named VISIONAR. From that moment, Cheli and I worked hand in hand to make it happen: we went to local high schools, spoke with principals, visited the local extension of the National University, and presented the program to community leaders at Rotary Club and Lions Club. We reviewed students applications, went to applicants’ homes, met with their families, and listened to their stories. After careful consideration, Cheli and I recommended to award the first scholarship to Emiliano, a gentle and studious boy from a modest background that was our “guinea pig” but quickly became our success story, and today is an IT engineer. Other 22 students came after Emi and are a testament to Cheli’s legacy.
Cheli was more than a scholarship manager; she was devoted to the VISIONAR cause. She was there to listen and guide our students, any time of day or night. It was in her house that we would get together with the students and other Atrapasueños members for refreshments and pastries during my annual visits to Argentina, sharing our stories, reveling in the camaraderie. Cheli cared deeply about each of the students, and they felt her love. Some would say to me that Cheli was their “second Mom”.
After a hard and courageous battle with cancer, Cheli is now our angel watching over us all. In her memory, may we all continue to strive to reach our dreams and goals, and may we continue to help others like she helped us.
We love you and we will miss you, Cheli!
Gabriela, the Atrapasueños team, VISIONAR students, VISIONAR friends and donors
** FOR FULL REPORT WITH PHOTOS, PLEASE OPEN THE PDF ATTACHMENT **
VISIONAR scholars not only excel in academics, but also are active contributors to their communities. In fact, VISIONAR rules require that students receiving scholarships dedicate at least four hours a month in volunteering activities.
Jesica, Mariana, Paula and Micaela, four of the students supported by our generous donors, have chosen to volunteer at the Children’s Residence in San Francisco (Argentina), a state-funded institution that acts as a shelter home for girls coming from backgrounds of physical and emotional abuse. Their stay at the residence ensures their safety, the protection of their rights, and the re-integration to their families once issues are resolved. Currently the Children’s Residence is housing ten girls ages 13 to 17. Since the creation of the Children’s Residence in 1992, many other girls have already “graduated” from the institution, and have gone on to continue school or get a job, start their own families, and carry on with their goals.
The girls living in the Residence are in need of role models, affection, and just a friendly person they can trust as they work to overcome years of abuse. Most girls need help with school homework, or the motivation to even attend school regularly. Through their volunteering, our VISIONAR students, along with others, provide that support: they are tutors and counselors, peers and confidants. They share afternoon tea with the Residents, and are there to listen and to show that they care. Slowly, the Residents learn how to study, how to manage their time, how to take care of themselves, how to relate to others, how to have fun, how to be strong and make the right choices to build a happy life for themselves.
The Atrapasueños team responsible for VISIONAR scholarships is extremely proud of our students who are making a huge difference in the lives of these young girls.
Besides making it possible for our VISIONAR scholars to get a college education, your donation is having an extended impact in the community through this volunteering program. At the same time, the experience of helping others in need is extremely valuable for our students. We could not be more grateful to you, our donors! Thank you!
PLEASE open ATTACHMENT for full report.
Dear friends and donors,
The VISIONAR family keeps growing. We are happy to welcome two new students, Florencia and Maria Paula.
Maria Paula and her two brothers were attending university in the National University in Santa Fe until their father passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. At that point, Maria Paula’s mother, a teacher for in-hospital schooling, was no longer able to afford the education of her three children. The two young men interrupted their studies to find jobs, and Maria Paula returned home to be with her Mom, who encouraged her to continue school at the local university in San Francisco.
The support from VISIONAR will allow Maria Paula to continue her studies and obtain her college degree. Maria Paula is passionate about Forensic Psychology, and wants to be “an excellent professional” who will continue to learn and grow beyond college.
Florencia is a committed student in the field of Psychopedagogy because she loves to help children with learning disabilities. She has a loving and supportive family, and they emphasize the importance of a college education.
When we interviewed Florencia during the application process, she stated that one of the features she likes the most about VISIONAR is that students get to return the generosity of our donors in the form of community service. As part of her community service, Florencia tutors grade school children.
The help to Florencia and Maria Paula would not be possible without your support. Please consider a donation before the end of this year to help us fund these scholarships into 2016. As always, many thanks for helping VISIONAR help these outstanding and deserving students.
Please consider a donation before the end of 2015, to help us with our program into 2016. Any donation is very valuable to us. Although exchange rates fluctuate, a donation of approximately USD $120 will provide one month of assistance to one student (USD $1,440 per student for a full year).
To donate to VISIONAR: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/support-education-in-argentina/
For questions and feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you! Gracias!
FOR FULL REPORT WITH PHOTOS, PLEASE OPEN THE PDF ATTACHMENT.
Dear VISIONAR friends,
It is with great excitement and pride that we celebrate Dario’s achievement of earning the highest grade point average in his class, equivalent to a “magna cum laude” recognition. In Argentina, this achievement is marked by having the honor of bearing the Argentine flag at university ceremonies, as you can see in these pictures.
In Dario’s own words: “It is a huge satisfaction to bear the flag because, not only am I happy for this recognition, but I also see happiness in my family, my friends, and you, [the VISIONAR Scholarship team at Atrapasueños Association], that have helped me so much and continue to do so”.
Dario is a straight-A student majoring in International Business at Universidad de Ciencias Empresariales y Sociales (UCES). Besides his outstanding academic record, Dario is a strong community leader. He has been involved as an organizer of the annual United Nations Model (simulation of UN assemblies where students learn to discuss, negotiate, analyze and explore solutions to international issues). Most recently, Dario was invited to collaborate with the expansion of this activity to Rancagua, Chile, where he will lead the development of their UN Model sessions in September.
In addition, in June Dario started working part time for a local business in San Francisco (Argentina), Vulcano, as marketing manager. Vulcano is an industrial equipment manufacturer that exports to the all of Latin America, from Chile to Mexico (http://www.vulcanolubricacion.com.ar/). Dario’s role gives him valuable exposure to business planning and execution. He is involved in market analysis and strategy development projects. Dario shared: “I am passionate about the process of figuring out the right strategic choices to get to an objective. I like to analyze specific scenarios, possible strategies, and the impact they may have”.
Please join me in congratulating Dario for all these accomplishments!
And THANK YOU once again, for your contributions to VISIONAR, that allow us to support talented young individuals like Dario. We rely 100% on donations from supporters like you, and we dedicate 100% of the donations to scholarships (administrative expenses are graciously funded by Asociación Atrapasueños).
** For full report with pictures, please open attached pdf.**
My name is Darío and I am writing this letter on behalf of all VISIONAR scholars.
“An enriching experience”, is the first thought that comes to mind when I think about Natalie Russell, a Globalgiving representative that visited us in San Francisco (Argentina) back in March. During Natalie’s stay, Asociacion Atrapsuenos and the VISIONAR students provided an update related to:
• VISIONAR objectives
• Our student selección process and the requirement to obtain and to maintain the scholarship
• Who are the current scholarship recipients, their career and personal goals
In turn, Natalie provided great support to us, explaining how we could improve our visibility within the Globalgiving platform, and how we can improve our fundraising strategy
In addition, Natalie contributed her knowledge and her great disposition. The mere cultural exchange between Natalie and the VISIONAR students was extremely valuable. Natalie helped us widen our perspective of the world and to understand that solidarity has no borders. Finally, Natalie encouraged us (VISIONAR students) to continue our efforts to reach our dreams.
We know that reaching our goals is possible, especially when we see the support received through Atrapasuenos, the organization behind VISIONAR scholarships. As a beneficiary of this program, I appreciate that support, and I confirm Atrapasuenos’ commitment to each and everyone of the students receiving scholarships.
Gracias Natalie for a splendid and productive visit!
We will always be grateful for all this support!
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Scholarship Founder and Manager