HONDURAS – Everth Omar Sánchez lives with his parents and two sisters in the western Tegucigalpa neighborhood of Flor de Campo. The 13-year-old has been a member of the Cinco Estrellas Impact Club for the past three years. Cinco Estrellas means “five stars” in Spanish, but Everth was not a shining star when he joined the club.
The 13-year-old has been a member of the Cinco Estrellas Impact Club for the past three years. Cinco Estrellas means “five stars” in Spanish, but Everth was not a shining star when he joined the club.
Everth had behavior issues in school and out. As a result of his behavior, Everth was bullied a lot. So when he joined Cinco Estrellas it was no surprise he was unwilling to participate in activities. His poor behavior extended to home, where he was very disrespectful and rebellious. His mother, Marylena, even considered removing him from school because she could not endure any more complaints about her son’s behavior; she was worn out and unsure of how to handle her son.
But Impact Club did not give up on Everth or his family. Over time, the coordinators of the program, including a psychologist, worked with both Everth and Marylena, counseling them in changing Everth’s attitude and actions both inside and outside of the home. Coordinators worked with Everth to help him see his value and the many positive qualities he has that can help others.
Everth’s participation in the Children’s Oversight of school days and Knowledge Fair have helped him learn the importance of going to class. By comparing his class notes to those of his fellow club mates, Everth realized that his biggest problem was that he did not pay attention in class. Knowledge Fair motivated him to change this behavior so he could succeed in the competition.
- Knowledge Fair – This activity helps to reinforce school learning by quizzing students in a game format with questions that are based on the Basic National Curriculum of Honduras. The competitive nature of the game encourages students to continue to study and attend school each day so that they can be successful in the game and in school.
- Children’s Oversight of School Days – This program works to help children learn the importance of attending school and helps them see their education as a right — students in Honduras are guaranteed at least 200 days of school each year, but not every school adheres to this law. Each week, children fill out an attendance sheet, marking days they attended class with a smiley face, making an X when their school didn’t have class, and leaving blank the days class was offered but they did not attend. By recording the days their schools offer classes and the days in which they attend them, students are encouraged to exercise their right to education.
Everth’s behavior is now very different than it was when he joined Cinco Estrellas. He is an eager and active participant in club activities. As a result of his positive behavior change, his mother Marylena has become more involved in his participation in the club and school, often asking him what he is doing and if he is getting help on his school assignments. She is eager to send Everth to club activities to ensure that he can pass seventh grade, often calling to verify the days that Everth has Impact Club events.
Everth’s positive changes have given his mother great joy and caused her to reflect on the treasure from God that her son is. As Everth reaps the rewards of his improved behavior and school performance, he steps more firmly into the knowledge that he is indeed the shining star God made him.