You may remember that in 2022 Mission Santa Maria started a partnership with DP World Shipping Company, an international shipping company that owns one of the largest ports here in Ecuador.
DP World’s program sends admitted high-school graduates to the best public university in Guayaquil, while simultaneously working at their shipping port for two years. The program participants graduate from the work-study program with an engineering degree as well as the opportunity to apply for full-time jobs with DP World, and other shipping companies in Ecuador. It is our hope that this program will open direct doors to gainful and dignified employment.
After an exceptional amount of effort and coordination, we are excited to share that Mission Santa Maria currently has 5 participants enrolled in the program. All of the participants graduated from the Mission School in the past 3 years, and had to complete a rigorous entrance process to the program. Prior to admission, the participants had to pass an English language course, a technology course, and a general aptitude examination.
Once entrance requirements were completed, it was up to Mission Santa Maria to help coordinate all of the students’ logistical needs to begin the program. This included helping find appropriate housing close to DP World Shipping port in Posorja (about 2.5 hours from where the Mission is located), as well as orienting the students to their new living environment, and equipping them with all the physical needs that the work-study program requires (laptops and hard hats to name a few). We were excited to accompany the students in this process and are happy to report that all the students are safely housed and have successfully completed the first few months of study.
After the first full day of the work-study internship, one of the students enrolled in the program reached out to Jim. She shared, ‘Hoy estuvimos viendo nuestra facultad y todo estuvo fantástico. Gracias. Muchas gracias’, meaning, ‘Today we met our faculty and everything was fantastic. Thank you. Thank you so much.’. We pass on her gratitude to all of you for making this new program possible!