Learning Perseverance through Goal-Setting


Hello everyone! Charlie here, Estefany’s mentor.

This month in OFH, we have been focused on setting goals with our students. Anna (Ada’s mentor) and I decided to help Ada and Estefany set both personal and academic goals to teach them about perseverance, and to help them articulate some of the things they want to accomplish. After some encouragement, they both got into it!


For this year, Ada set the personal goal of strengthening relationships in her family. She also wants to go to a beautiful place with her family (she loves nature!) and help her parents by keeping the house clean. Ada also wants to make more time to go bird-watching and do more art. Academically, Ada is aiming for stellar grades. Get it, girl.


Estefany set a personal goal of this year of respecting others. She will be working on saying “excuse me” when she needs to interrupt, and also accepting the word “no” from others, especially adults. When an adult says “no” to a request, Estefany will work hard to respond positively and politely, instead of begging or whining.

Academically, Estefany’s goal will be responsibility. She and I will determine how different homework assignments should be completed– with help, alone at home, or in the morning at school. It will be her responsibility to check her daily planner each afternoon and complete the solo activities independently. It will also be her responsibility to visit my classroom in the morning to complete any work she wasn’t able to do at home. As always, I’m happy to help!


All of the mentors and children get together every few weeks for a fun, social outing. During our last outing with our OFH students, we talked to Sergio about some of his goals, too. He talked about wanting to travel more, and also about exploring medicine as a future career. We were so excited to hear this! From there, we were able to help him prioritize his academics and English acquisition. Often, Sergio works late at night to help his family earn money from their food cart, so we worked with him to come up with some strategies to give him more time to study, and to help make his study time as effective as possible.

Great things ahead! These kiddos are incredible 🙂


Growing Up So Fast

Hello everyone! Charlie here, Estefany’s mentor-tutor this year.


The two little girls (Ada and Estefany) are off to a great start to a new school year here at Minerva. Estefany is beginning second grade and Ada is in fourth– they’re growing so fast! Both girls say that they enjoy school, especially being with friends.

Let me tell you, these girls are so smart. They’re always speaking in English, which we love to hear! Recently, Miss Anna (Ada’s mentor-tutor) was told by Ada’s teacher that if Ada is confused about a new topic, she knows that the rest of the class probably doesn’t get it either. That smarty–always a step ahead!

It’s great to see Estefany with her friends at school. She has learned so much compassion from her siblings and she treats her friends with the same respect. She plays with them, she cares for them, and she encourages them. I always see her around school with a buddy.


Sergio is in his final months at public school before the holiday break (the public school system here in Honduras has a different calendar than the bilingual schools). He has exams coming up when I asked him about it, he said, “I hope I pass them all!” We do, too 🙂

So, this is an exciting time. Ada and Estefany are beginning a new grade at Minerva, Sergio is closing out his 7th grade year. Prayers and blessings for them.


This year, we have seen Estephany progress significantly in working with her mentor-tutor, Maria. Maria shared some photos of Estephany with us and spoke about her experience being a mentor-tutor for Estephany.

“Estefany is just 6 years old,but she has big heart and wonderful smile. She is smart,intelligent,very beautiful and nice.Whatever she does she does it with her smile.Hope she will grow up to be a happy and good person.She is already our little princess.I’m very proud to have such a wonderful child in my life.”

It’s About Family

Natasha Truong worked with OFH for two years, serving as In-Country Education Director, friend and mentor to our OFH family. The 2013-2014 academic year was Natasha’s last year in Honduras. As she now transitions to life in the U.S. and has time to reflect on her years spent with OFH and our students, we asked her to share some of her thoughts about working with– and learning to love– this family. We are touched and encouraged by her words, and we hope you will be, too.


“OFH is more than just an organization providing education for economic development. Like its name states, it’s about family. No matter how much your family members stumble, you love them through it, and that is exactly how the organization has regarded our OFH family. The level of responsibility that we require of our family (parents included) is unlike anything they’ve experience before. And sometimes, it’s been too much. Some days they’ve showed up late to class, lost their school supplies, or forgotten to wash their uniforms. Instead of giving up on the family during those times, OFH’s stance has been to embrace their humanity and recognize their dignity as people. Within this framework, I was given the opportunity to witness the family move beyond their slip-ups and grow. Because of the love that they have been shown, each one of the kids has learned to love and value themselves, growing into confident people.

Estefany has become a sassy preschooler, and Ada has come a long way in getting over her shyness with new people (she even interacted with a fruit vendor once as a customer). When asked which students were ‘Most Improved’ during a morning devotional, Sergio raised his hand and said himself. I was amused and proud to hear that he said this without a trace of arrogance! At the beginning of last school year, he struggled to turn in his work and was constantly being called out by his teachers for rambunctious behavior. By the end of the year, he was getting better grades and was no longer being sent to the office. His teachers, mentor-tutor, and I have all noticed how observant he’s become. One day we were shopping in town when I received a cat-call from some men on the street (unfortunately, a common occurrence in this culture). Sergio shook his head and said, “The men here treat foreign women with less respect than they do Honduran women.” I was blown away by his observation and interpretation of the situation!

22Karla had a tough year last year, as she missed many classes due to on-and-off illness. But even then she persevered. She received the award for ‘Most Inspirational’ from the Girl Scouts, an organization she joined at the beginning of the year. Although she wasn’t too enthusiastic when she first joined the group, soon she was not only attending every event, but she also went beyond her duties. She made the highest sales during the bake sale, and she opened up tremendously at the group sleepover. Her English teacher told me how polite she has become and how she was the best public speaker in her class. Pretty impressive for a girl who spoke little English when I first met her two years ago!

These four kids will always be in my heart, and working with them has taught me what it means to love.”

– Natasha

Greatness in the Making

Alice Keyes was a high school teacher and school counselor during the 2013-2014 academic, and served as Karla’s mentor-tutor. During her time in Gracias, Alice formed a wonderful, impactful relationship with the entire family and continues to be a resource, support and friend of OFH. She shares her story below:

Alice and Karla

“The sound of raucous laughter comes along with my first memories of the Ramirez children. Sergio, Ada, and Karla had discovered the hammock out in the garage and Estefany had picked up my umbrella. She had figured out how to open it and quickly made it become a bright yellow whirl as she twirled round ‘n round with it, giggling uproariously.  It was in that moment, looking at the joy filled scene, I realized I wanted to get to know them more.

As a Tutor-Mentor with OFH this past year I was given the opportunity to do just that. I held a front row seat on the ride up to the highs, down to the lows, and the journey in between.

Karla managed to persevere in school following an appendicitis which caused her to miss a significant number of days. She got involved in extracurricular activities, such as Girl Scouts, and found a caring group of friends. She successfully completed her second year at Minerva Bilingual School.

Sergio successfully integrated into his classroom and now has a couple of boys he calls ‘good friends’. His own person diligence, and help from many others is paying off, and he is excelling in his classes. He also experienced a notable attitude adjustment throughout the year and now pays more attention to how his actions affect others (a great thing for any 4th grade boy to learn).

Ada, timid and shy at the beginning of the year, now forms complete sentences in English and loudly sings songs like Hakuna matata (taught to her by her mentor-tutor, Arielle). She even uses English with her siblings as a ‘secret language’ around their parents.

Estephany can now say her colors and numbers in English and is coming into her own as a little person. She is a being fairly brimming with personality and I cannot wait to hear about, and hopefully make it back to see, the person she becomes.

Each of those life benchmarks is the result of each child persevering despite a multitude of barriers. And, like all children, there is great potential for what they can become and will do in their lives based off of the foundation being formed now.

‘Our goal isn’t that these kids make straight A’s, it’d be great if they did, but instead it’s more important that they become responsible, loving adults,’ say, OFH co-founders Sarah and Jami. ‘By being there for them, giving them opportunities, and loving them no matter what, we can help make that happen.’

These four children, Karla, Sergio, Ada, and Estephany represent greatness in the making. Perhaps they’ll go on to hold powerful positions, perhaps not. But either way they are in the process of becoming great human beings and it was a pleasure to watch their growth this year.

P.S. You too can be a part of helping with the process by donating to One Family Honduras. Click here for more info.”

— Alice

Welcome to the One Family Honduras blog!

Yes, bienvenidos! This blog is a space to connect. We have an impressive team of OFH staff in Honduras who walk with our students every day, and we also have an amazing network of supporters, advisors and friends across the United States. This blog is a space for all of us to share stories and grow deeper in our connections to one another.

Many of you know the story behind this organization: Jami King and I moved to the small town of Gracias, Honduras in 2011 to work at the Minerva Bilingual School. We formed a relationship with the Ramirez family, a family of six living on approximately $5 per day. After much thought, prayer and generosity, we began to sponsor one student—Karla—to attend school. (For more of the story and to meet our family, click here).DSC_0027

But I hope you sense that this is about far more than education. We desperately want these children to succeed in school and in life, but that is not our greatest hope. Our greatest hope is that these children feel loved—that the relationships that they form assure them of their inherent value and worth. We pray that these children are not impacted by merely their educations, but far more importantly by the relationships they form with teachers, mentors, classmates and supporters. Our goal is depth, not breadth.


Our friendship with the kids inspired this organization, and our friends and families (you!) sustain our operations. In fact, 100% of our donations come from families and friends of people who have met the children directly, and have their own stories and relationships with them.

We hope that this blog allows us to connect with each other on a deeper level—the students, staff in Honduras, and friends in the United States. We invite you to join our family!

— Sarah Galaro