Launched in 2017, the MAIA Impact School is Central America’s first secondary school designed for Indigenous young women from rural communities, known as Girl Pioneers, with the aim of connecting them with 21st-century opportunities. We serve approximately 250 Girl Pioneers in grades 7-11, redefining education in rural Guatemala by prioritizing academics, culture, well-being, reproductive health, socioemotional intelligence, and personal development. Every Girl Pioneer receives a full scholarship, two daily meals, books, supplies, uniforms, and hygiene kits.MAIA undergoes a yearlong selection process for Girl Pioneers, taking into account economic need, motivation, and proximity to the Impact School. This process involves community mapping, interviews, economic assessments, written applications, and academic evaluations. Our team’s shared language and culture enhance transparency and communication with the communities we serve.
Learn more about the requirements to apply to a MAIA Impact School Scholarship
The key to the success of Girl Pioneers lies in our dedicated local team, who receive over 50 hours of capacity building and professional development annually to enhance their skills and deliver impactful education.
Our rigorous academic program excels in both academic quality and quantity, with Girl Pioneers achieving an average of two academic years’ worth of growth each school year.
Personal development and empowerment are critical to the success of Girl Pioneers. MAIA mentors offer individual and group sessions that cover non-academic topics such as goal setting, sexual and reproductive health, emotional well-being, and leadership skills. This mentorship empowers them to use their voices and feel secure in expressing themselves. Monthly home visits and family engagement contribute to building a strong support system for Girl Pioneers.
Before joining the MAIA Impact School, Girl Pioneers participate in a yearlong academic levelling program designed to strengthen essential areas, including English, technology, math, reading, and vocal empowerment.
The Launch Program offers graduates from the MAIA Impact School vocational orientation, university preparation, workplace readiness training, and internship experiences in the formal economy. MAIA partners with local, national, and international allies like Rotary Club Lake Oswego, Rotary Club Quetzaltenango (Xela), Team4Tech, and UVG to provide vocational training, workplace skills, and tech skills to Girl Pioneer. Our team supports them in university admission and scholarship applications. A central component of the Launch Program is a paid internship where Girl Pioneers complete an internship to gain workplace skills, experience and greater access to opportunities.