Education has always been one of Children Incorporated’s core values; and that is why, since our very beginning, we have supported our sponsored and unsponsored children through our Higher Education Fund.

Our Higher Education Fund helps young people pursue their dreams of completing certificate programs or obtaining a degree from a university or college by providing them with financial support. The program is highly effective, thanks to our amazing volunteer coordinators, who know each and every one of our sponsored and unsponsored children personally — and as such, also know their individual needs and goals.

Our higher education program

Thanks to our Higher Education Fund, Maria was able to attend college.

The volunteer coordinators in both our International and U.S. Divisions nominate children who are enrolled in our program and are in their last year of secondary education.

Once accepted into our Higher Education Program, these young people may pursue any course of study they wish at an accredited institution. Many of our Higher Education Fund beneficiaries have later returned to their communities in positions as teachers, nurses, social workers, accountants, architects, counselors, and speech therapists.

Contributions to our Higher Education Fund essentially help make our sponsored and unsponsored youngsters’ dreams come true. We recently heard from a former sponsored child who received assistance from our Higher Education Fund — and just that has happened for her. Her name is Maria* and she is from Bolivia; she started on her path to education at our affiliated project Pedro Poveda School in La Paz.

Maria’s home

The small landlocked nation of Bolivia comprises the rugged Andes Mountains and vast high-altitude plateaus to the west — including a portion of Lake Titicaca, the largest high-altitude lake in the world — and lush lowland plains of the Amazon Jungle to the east. Despite its wealth of natural beauty and resources, however, Bolivia bears the scars of centuries of conflict, beginning with the Spanish conquistadors, and followed by almost 200 years of wars and internal military coups. Political and economic instability have brought about considerable poverty, resulting in widespread malnutrition, crime, and disease.

Since Children Incorporated partners with Pedro Poveda School, we were able to match Maria with a sponsor, so that she could attend the school.

At 12,000 feet above sea level lies La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, and Maria’s hometown. Some of the city’s most impoverished have no sanitation or potable water, and disease and malnutrition are rampant there.

Thankfully, children living in poverty have our affiliated project, the Pedro Poveda School, to offer them a safe and comfortable place to learn, which is just what Maria needed while growing up in poverty.

Matching Maria with a sponsor

Maria was raised without a father, and her mother was very poor and could not afford to send her to school without support. Since Children Incorporated partners with Pedro Poveda School, we were able to match Maria with a sponsor, so that she could attend the school; she received school supplies, books, school uniforms, and other basic needs throughout the year. Not only did her sponsor send contributions, but she also wrote letters to Maria, which motivated her.

While she was in her last year of high school, our volunteer coordinator at Pedro Poveda School recommended Maria for our Higher Education Program, because Maria was a very good student – and she was accepted into the program. After her high school graduation, Maria went on to attend a college in Bolivia, thanks to our Higher Education Fund. She graduated from there with a degree in business administration, and soon after, began working in a hospital for women. Maria is very grateful for the generosity of our donors, as well as for that of her sponsor, who helped her to get where she is today, and to have a much brighter future than she would have had without an education.

*Name changed for child’s protection.


How do I donate to the Higher Education Fund?

 You can contribute to our Higher Education Fund in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and donate to our Higher Education Fund.


written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

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