Blanca joined the Pathway Program at the age of 6 and now, at 21, is studying Industrial Engineering at the University of Central America.
What inspired you to study industrial engineering?
It was our math tutor at the Children’s Center, Juan Avendaño, who first inspired me. He gave us all a talk about all the different careers you could study in university, and I became very interested. I did some research on my own and decided this was for me.
Besides tutoring with Professor Juan, what are some other favorite memories of being in the Pathway to Progress Program?
One of my favorite memories is when we used to play volleyball or soccer after school at the Center. It was so much fun. I also loved that we were always encouraged to read and that we could borrow whatever books we wanted from the Center. My BEST memory is our senior year trip to El Chocoyero Nature Reserve that [Pathway to Progress] organized for all the graduates that year. It was an unforgettable adventure and so beautiful there.
In 2015, you traveled to the United States and Canada to speak the Legacy Breakfast in Louisville KY and at the Breakfast of Hope in Halifax, Nova Scotia. What do you remember most about that trip?
My trip to the United States and Canada was one of the best experiences of my life. I was invited to go and make a speech at both the Legacy Breakfast and the Breakfast of Hope in 2015 so I got to travel to both countries. Among my memories are being at the Halifax Grammar School in Nova Scotia and Assumption High School in Louisville, where I got to go to class and spend time with girls my age. Also, visiting Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia was an unforgettable day for me… I enjoyed the cold weather and the beauty of the lighthouse. But above all, meeting my sponsor was the best thing that happened to me on that visit.
What have you enjoyed most about being in university? Has the pandemic affected your studies?
What I like the most about being in university is that little by little, I have become more creative, and I have learned how to organize myself better. And I have made new friends.
As we all know, the pandemic has caused studies to be carried out online and as a result, it’s been hard to get everything done and completed the way I would like, and it hasn’t been easy, but I have managed to stay on top of all my classes.
When do you graduate and what do you think you will do after graduation?
If all goes well, I’ll graduate in 2023. After graduating I would like to work at Merconica Nicaragua, which is a big distributor of cleaning products, personal care items and food. At the same time, I would like to start a business of my own, a small store in my parents’ home, that I can grow little by little.
If you could give advice to your 10-year-old self, what would it be?
I would tell myself not to give up, no matter how hard or complicated the situation may seem, and to fight for what you really want. Because, as I learned from Mr. Ed, who made every kid say this every time we met him at the Children’s Center, “I am intelligent, I am capable, I am going to get ahead, and I am going to be successful in my life”.