Success Stories

Leadership stories about students who grew up in poverty, but were given a chance to be future leaders in their countries.

  • Free from the past and Tomorrow's fear

    It's 5am in a University campus hostel and lights are on. Maureen Owino has been awake for 2 hours reading assignments. She concentrates on finalizing a book review she has coming up. Maureen gently turns over a page in "Gifted Hands" by Benjamin Carson and pauses to think about its relevance. "Your background does not determine your future; it shapes it. Hard work and determination with a can-do attitude backed up by prayer to an unlimited God achieves dreams.'"

  • To Thrive Means to Overcome

    Born and raised in Ixtahuacán, Huehuetenango, a town very close to the Mexican border, Silvia's childhood was very hard. Beautiful green mountains, fresh air and a quiet small town were the landscapes that surrounded Silvia throughout her childhood and adolescence. But Silvia had to make her best efforts to break many barriers that tried to halt her from becoming a successful woman in a culture that often sees and treats women as feeble.

  • Overcoming Cultural Barriers to Succeed

    In Guatemala’s male-dominated society, women are often seen as inferior. Silvia’s father mistreated his wife and daughters regularly. When he insisted Silvia abandon her education, she bravely went to college … in spite of the consequences at home.

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  • An Exceptional Student With a Special Calling

    Dewi grew up in a poor family where simply surviving was a daily struggle — regular meals were a luxury. Now, she’s attending college and majoring in special education so she can teach children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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  • Rescued From Excruciating Poverty

    Overwhelming poverty was a way of life for Maureen and her family. The time between meals for Maureen and her family wasn’t just hours, but days. She and her sister would root in the garbage for scraps of food. But thanks to the Leadership Development Program, her future is now bright.

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  • A Dream Fulfilled

    With a passion for mathematics but no money for school, Roni’s dreams of working for IBM seemed like a fairy tale. But even after his parents’ divorce moved him far from the Compassion center, Roni is now working for IBM … and pursuing a second degree.

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  • Surrounded by Violence, Overcoming Through Faith

    As the only Christian at his college, Dol is ridiculed for his faith. And a decades-long conflict with rival universities has left several students dead, including one of Dol’s classmates. In spite of the teasing and violence, Dol is about to graduate.

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