In January 2009, Scholarship Committee member Katy Childers conducted a comprehensive program evaluation as part of her graduate school studies. She found that the former scholarship students are making big impacts in their communities. Although some graduates remain in Managua for jobs or because their spouse is in the city, about 60 percent have returned to Ometepe. Among the positions they hold:
- High school teachers
- Municipal Director for the Ministry of Health
- Psychologist, private practice and with at-risk youth
- Obstetric nurse
- Workshop Coordinator, Ometepe Island Civil Organization Network
- Scholarship Program Coordinator for the Sister Islands Association
- Catastrophe Manager, Altagracia Mayor’s Office
- Executive Director, Tourism Commission of Ometepe
- Cashier, microfinance organization
Not only are former scholarship students working to improve their communities, but many are also volunteering their time on projects.
As a result of the study, the Scholarship Committee is working to improve communication between sponsors and the students, both former and current. The students overwhelmingly responded that this communication was incredibly important to them and how much they’d love to meet their sponsors. In addition, we are looking at better ways to prepare students before they get to the university, as well as to facilitate ways for them to become better community leaders once they graduate.