Foto 1_Amelia (1)

Transforming Futures: Amelia's Story

From the MAIA Launch Program to Leader of Tomorrow

According to national statistics, Guatemala is home to 4 million Indigenous women, 48% of whom cannot read or write, and fewer than 20% graduate from secondary school. MAIA Girl Pioneers are changing this reality, leading a transformational shift to break cycles of poverty, discrimination, and injustice through education and empowerment.

We nurture the talent of young women to become a generation of leaders who impact their families, communities, the country, and the world. Our unique empowerment model integrates quality education, socioemotional support, and family involvement. 

A key component of this model is the Launch Program, which provides vocational orientation, university preparation, workplace-readiness training, and paid internship experiences. We partner with local, national, and international allies to equip Girl Pioneers with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed.

Amelia’s Story

Amelia is a young Maya Kaqchikel woman, a MAIA Girl Pioneer graduate, and is currently in the Launch Program. She faced the possibility of not continuing her studies after primary school. In her community, many young women do not pursue education due to societal pressures and a lack of opportunities. Few have the power to decide their own future.

“I knew many girls hadn’t even studied because they were women,” shares Amelia. 

Amelia was shy and reserved, but everything changed when she joined the MAIA Impact School. She broke the cycle and became the first daughter in her family to continue her education and graduate from high school.

With the tools and opportunities provided by the MAIA Impact School, Amelia underwent a significant transformation. She began actively participating inside and outside the classroom, developed critical-thinking skills, and discovered her empowered voice. She learned to be strong and self-confident, which helped her make good decisions and pursue her dream of furthering her education.

Today, Amelia is studying architecture at San Carlos University in Guatemala and has a very clear vision of what her future looks like in five years.

My dreams haven’t changed, but they have evolved and grown as I’ve become more confident. In 5 years, I see myself as a woman with more knowledge and professional skills, in the process of graduating from university. As an architect, I see myself contributing to my community through social projects. I am thrilled that more young women are studying at MAIA, and they motivate me to continue pursuing my dreams as I see myself reflected in them. I wish to inspire many more young women to know the power of their words and voices and be what they dream and decide.

Amelia’s story is a testament to the power of opportunity. When a girl has access to education and becomes empowered to empower, she will redefine her trajectory and become a catalyst for progress. 

At MAIA, we envision a world where every woman has the opportunity to reach her full potential, is empowered to empower others, and ignites a positive change. By supporting young girls’ aspirations and dreams and developing their empowered voices, we build a better world for all.

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