As she grew up in poverty-stricken Bolivia, Janeth and her family struggled to support themselves. “My mother cried most nights because of worries and frustrations. My parents couldn’t spend much time with me and my siblings because they were always working very long days and nights,” Janeth shares.
Janeth also struggled in school and failed the second grade twice. Without supportive teachers or a curriculum that could be adapted to her learning needs, Janeth thought she’d never succeed in school. “School was very difficult for me,” Janeth recalls, “My teachers told my parents that I had a lot of problems. I remember thinking, ‘I can’t do this. School is just not for me.’”
But when Janeth’s mother registered her and her siblings at a local Compassion center, Janeth was suddenly able to receive educational support, food, medical care and, most importantly, the love of Christ.
Planting a Passion
As Janeth started receiving help with school at the Compassion center, she began to develop a passion for education.
“At my Compassion center, I remember that my teacher immediately identified my challenges and created an education plan for me. My teacher told me that to Jesus, every child was special. In that moment, I understood that I had abilities and was very special to God,” says Janeth.
As Janeth overcame her educational struggles and began to excel in the Compassion program, she started asking questions about education. “I began asking ‘Why isn’t education inclusive? Why isn’t it accessible?’”
Fast forward to over a decade later, Janeth won Compassion International and Baylor University’s first ever Christian Collective for Social Innovation (CCSI) with her innovative resource Minkedu, an online platform that empowers educators to develop teaching methodologies based on the unique needs of their students and communities. In the years following, Janeth has continued championing accessible education resources for poverty-stricken communities across Central and South America.
Click here to read the full story of Janeth’s triumph in the innovation challenge!