What did you want to be when you grew up? A fireman, an astronaut or maybe a doctor? In Guatemala, there are 1.6 million children age 15-24 who are not in school, the vast majority are young women of Mayan descent (USAID report 6/2016). These children do not dream of becoming, they dream of surviving. Their ambitions are suppressed into a smaller and smaller world until one day, they dream no more. Health Talents International was once a dream and today, we dream of a brighter future for the children, for the people of Guatemala. We believe in big dreams, we believe children should dream and we believe children are a key to a better and brighter future.
Our scholarship programs plant the seeds of dreams and then carry them on to reality! Dr. Manuela Tambriz is a great example of a little Mayan girl whose dream come true. She stated that “Ever since I was little I wanted to be a dentist but the financial situation of my family was a very big obstacle which made it impossible…until God opened doors and I won the Charles E. and Lois Bates Scholarship and was able to continue my studies.” Dr. Manuela wrote this during her second year of dental school in 2011. She is now a full-time dentist serving with HTI at our coastal base of operation, Clinica Ezell. She said that "after six marvelous years I returned to my second home, the dental clinic at Clinica Ezell. It was very emotional for me when I started to serve with this ministry as a Dentist, making my dream come true!"
Providing these life changing scholarships costs Health Talents between $1,000-4,500 per year depending on the student’s degree pursuit. All scholarships are awarded to exemplary students from the churches of Christ throughout Central America with the bulk of students being from Guatemala. The scholarships are divided up into three categories. First is the Sherman Scholarship for students studying at the high school or trade school level with one annual scholarship awarded to an exceptional university student. The second category is for students interested in studying professions in the medical or dental field, the Charles E. and Lois Bates and Jackson C. Coker Scholarships provide funds for these students. Finally, the Bennie-McDonnel-Strawther Scholarship is awarded to students pursuing a degree in nursing.
As of 2017 Health Talents has helped ___ Christian students obtain high school or university degrees. These students have gone on to start new ministries within their churches using their education to evangelize and strengthen their local congregations. New partners are needed to support our efforts to educate these young Christian minds. For information on how to help a student achieve their dream of being a professional please contact Rick Harper at HTIRick@aol.com or Sheri Kretzschmar at Fscubarn@aol.com.