On June 18, the Rotary Club of Evergreen received notice of approval of its first ever global grant from The Rotary Foundation and The Rotary Foundation of Canada.   The grant entitled, “Young Mayan Women as Engines of Economic Growth in Guatemala through Empowerment and Education,” is co-sponsored by the Rotary e-Club of Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, Guatemala and will be carried out in cooperation with our implementing partner, Estrella de Mar (Starfish One-by-One).   The total amount of the grant is $162,125. 
The approval is the culmination of eight months of hard work by members of the Rotary Club of Evergreen.  Ted Ning, who together with his wife Connie were the original founders of Starfish, did the lion’s share of the fundraising for the grant.  Working tirelessly with his many contacts in Rotary from around the country, he was successful in gaining financial support from 18 clubs in six districts.  These contributions were then matched by district designated funds (DDF) as well as funds from The Rotary Foundation.  Al Steger is the primary contact for the grant and was involved extensively with Estrella de Mar staff in writing the grant application.  Jim Kreider and Bob Rose also serve on the grant committee for the Evergreen club.
This grant will focus largely on training of both educators and students.  For the young indigenous women, it will provide for such things as an accelerator for aspiring entrepreneurs to form their own businesses, internships for them to gain valuable work experience with established businesses in their areas of study, mentoring sessions with women business owners (many of whom are Rotarians), academic tutoring to ensure their successful transition from high school to university, training in basic computer skills, and English language training which for most will be a third language.  For the educators, it will include one on one coaching sessions to help in development of lesson plans for teaching critical thinking and STEM subjects, which have been critically lacking in the normal curricula in Guatemalan schools.  The grant will also provide for conferences to share the lessons learned with other schools and with other organizations throughout Guatemala focused on girls’ education.
Work on the grant is expected to start within the next few weeks and extend for up to 15 months.  Several members of the Evergreen club will be traveling to Guatemala next February to provide oversight of grant activities. 
Contributing Clubs and Districts:
District 5450
Westminster 7:10
Mountain Foothills of Evergreen
Highlands Ranch (Littleton)
Denver Tech Center
District 5440
Greeley (Centennial)
Fort Collins Breakfast
District 5390
Billings (MT)
District 5020
Lacey (WA)
District 5150
Novato (CA)
District 4250
Lake Atitlan (Guatemala)