Let me to introduce you to Marisol, a truly incredible college student who has overcome so much in order to persevere with her studies. She is our highlighted student for the month of April, and I think you’ll agree that she certainly deserves to be recognized.
Name: María Hernandez Ruiz (Marisol)
Major: Engineering and entrepreneurship (business management)
Family: Marisol has twelve brothers and sisters, including a little sister and a little brother with disabilities. Her family lives in a tiny indigenous town called Chuchilton Municipio de Bochil, up in the mountains. The people of the community wear indigenous dress and barely make enough money to sustain themselves. There aren’t any schools, so Marisol had to leave home at the age of twelve to attend boarding school.
“When I graduated from high school with the nuns,” she says. “I had to find a place to work, because I didn’t have any support from my parents…When I decided to go to college, they didn’t like the idea. It scared them, and they were afraid I wouldn’t succeed….it made sense that they were afraid of the university because it was expensive and I might not pass.
They have recently started to accept it, and now my dad supports me.
If I hadn’t joined ECOSER [Friends of Pimpollo’s College Scholarship Program], I’d probably still be in my little town. I might be married right now; a lot of people get married early because their parents make them. I’d probably have a family or be working, but I definitely wouldn’t be studying right now.”
Graduation: March 2013
Goal after graduation: Start her own business using the groundwork she has laid with her senior class project. Her project/business makes a product from banana nectar that has never been sold before. She is learning about all levels of the business- production, marketing, sales, etc. She hopes to turn it into a real business and call it Delicias Platanin.
Hobbies: Listening to music, singing, drawing.
Favorite FOP memory: Driving for hours and hours on bumpy roads to reach the home of Marisol’s family. Seeing how excited Marisol was to be spending time with them, even though we only stayed for about three hours. Seeing how much they loved having her home, how much love they all had for one another. Having dinner with them, and eating an entire meal of home-grown food: turkey soup, avocados, even coffee beans. The only exception? The giant bottle of Orange Fanta soda we all enjoyed.
If Marisol could say anything to our donors and to everyone who supports Friends of Pimpollo, she would say: “Thanks to all of you. It means so much to me that you are supporting me and helping me; without you, I would never be here. This is such an amazing program, and every day, I thank God for all of you. With your support, I have been able to continue studying, and now, I am able to be an example for my little brother and sister. Thank you.”