Amelia & Elizabeth's Story
In 1999, Steve and Cecilia first met Elizabeth at the age of 13 in Peru through her mother Amelia.  Since the organization's inception in 1999, Amelia was an instrumental figure in assisting Project Peru in getting off the ground in Peru.
  Amelia was the inspiration for our Computer Assistance Program (CAP), whereas Project Peru was able to donate many computers, including laptops, desktops, printers, scanners, monitors and other peripherals and software to her school – Santo Domingo Savio – which had a program already in place, whereas she taught on her own time, after school and on weekends, free computer courses to children and adults to provide important work skills for a better opportunity. Due to its popularity, the program extended its hours of operation and was a huge success.

Amelia was heavily involved as an activist for children and healthcare and was a key driver in assisting Project Peru with their first Doctor's Day in 2000. In August 2000, Amelia created an idea for a Doctor's Day in the City of Ate Vitarte in Peru. Amelia organized the entire event and arranged for the doctors to be on hand. Project Peru provided resources for doctors to provide free check-ups and also delivered promotional, educational and preventative materials for families and their children. Professionals on hand that provided exams included dentists, internists, psychologists and optometrists.

 

In 2001, Amelia again, assisted Project Peru in launching its flagship park project. She was an important figure in corresponding with key municipal and community representatives in her neighboring city Ate Vitarte. In February 2001, Project Peru signed an agreement to build a 1-acre park and soccer fields in the underdeveloped Puruchuco neighborhood in Ate Vitarte. In June 2002, the park was completed and overflowing with children across several neighborhoods.

 

Amelia and her family also provided myself, my wife and family and other staff members of Project Peru a welcoming home while in Peru providing wonderful meals for us and always an open invitation. In 2002, Amelia became ill and was diagnosed with cancer. In September 2002, Amelia passed away, but her spirit lives on today with so many of her family members, her friends and certainly with those of us at Project Peru. Her passion for social work and her commitment to serve those in her community was not limited to her work with Project Peru and the words written here. It is this passion and her warm, welcoming spirit that is the inspiration for our scholarship.

During a very difficult time for her family in the Fall of 2002, Amelia's daughter, Elizabeth, was completing her high school studies in Peru. Elizabeth, a brilliant student, graduating from high school just as she turned 16, had dreamed of coming to the United States to study. The intersection of Amelia's daughter completing her school, Project Peru's desire to express gratitude for all of Amelia's help with our organization and our plans to move forward with our scholarship fund came about in the Fall of 2002. In January 2003, Elizabeth became our first recipient of the Project Peru Scholarship.

Elizabeth graduated from high school with high honors and exceptional English proficiency in December 2002. On the Project Peru scholarship, she came to the United States and completed English courses at Framingham State College during the evening. Project Peru then assisted Elizabeth in being accepted to Massachusetts Bay Community College as a full-time student. In May 2006, Elizabeth graduated with a 3.75 G.P.A. and inspired by her mother's commitment to human services completed her Associates degree in Social Work.  Elizabeth's success story continued.  She went on to complete her Bachelor's degree at the University of Phoenix while working at the college.  Elizabeth has since married, is a home owner, a proud mother and an owner of a successful business.

Amelia and Elizabeth are a true inspiration to Project Peru and a wonderful example of the power of scholarships. In 2013, Project Peru will launch its second scholarship program with a young woman who will be studying in Peru.

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