About

 
Photo by Livvy Runyon

Photo by Livvy Runyon

We are driven by the question "How far can she go?" She is an ambitious young indigenous woman from a low-income family in a traditionally marginalized community who has the talent and desire to succeed but lacks access to opportunity. We call these promising young women “Girl Pioneers” because they are blazing a new trajectory towards prosperity and equal opportunity.

By investing in Girl Pioneers, MAIA is creating a generation of empowered leaders who have the knowledge and resources they need to lead choice-filled lives, break cycles of poverty, and ignite transformational change in their communities.

Our holistic approach combines rigorous academics with a culturally attuned, community-focused school environment that integrates daily mentorship sessions, monthly home visits, and ongoing peer support. Our team of local leaders knows that if she can see it, she can be it. By investing in and developing staff, mentors, and educators who are from the same communities and backgrounds as their students, we assure that each Girl Pioneer is surrounded by role models who deeply understand her context. The combination of local leadership and deep engagement with families creates an ecosystemic support system that effectively meets the unique needs of marginalized indigenous girls in rural Guatemala to create long-term, sustainable impact.

 
MAIA Impact School Guatemala

MAIA Impact School

In 2017, we took a bold leap to address the low quality of education available to indigenous young women in rural Guatemala and opened the MAIA Impact School. The school offers a rigorous academic curriculum designed to meet the needs of the 21st century and prepare Girl Pioneers to enter university and the formal workforce. Additionally, the School maintains a strong focus on socioemotional development through a mentorship program that covers topics such as vocal empowerment, human rights, reproductive health, financial literacy, and civic engagement. The mentorship space fosters a network of peer support for Girl Pioneers and their families that continues long after she has graduated from high school.

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Socioemotional Wellness & Family Engagement

To become an empowered woman and leader, we know that a Girl Pioneer needs not only the necessary knowledge and skills, but also internal strength, self-confidence, and a powerful voice. Our holistic mentorship curriculum is embedded into every aspect of the MAIA Impact School and our work with the families. We learned early on that meaningfully engaging families to grow and develop alongside their daughters is vital for their collective success. Our work with families mirrors the school curriculum so that girls and their families are consistently discussing topics such as personal and family goal-setting; emotional, mental, and physical health; vocal empowerment and healthy communication, and community development.

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Innovation & Collaboration to Ignite Systemic Change

We believe that to truly make a substantial and lasting impact in the movement for gender equity and education, we must leverage our resources and collaborate with all organizations that strive toward this common goal. MAIA provides a platform for partners to access global innovations in education, girls’ empowerment, and gender equity. Our goal is to identify and share best practices while garnering partnerships within the private sector to ensure that Girl Pioneers can access a professional network and obtain employment opportunities that accelerate their ability to become leaders and changemakers after they graduate. Additionally, we recognize that we are stronger through partnership, especially as we work with the public and private sectors to improve the education system in Guatemala, a fundamental step toward improving many other societal challenges that the country faces.

 

How far can she go?