The Ron Brown Scholarship Fund is very pleased to welcome our new student, Maranatha Barbudo, to the program. Maranatha was raised with her siblings by her Mother on Isla Mujeres after her father was lost at sea. Maranatha is 20 years old and her dream has been to study psychology at the university in Cancun. She starts this semester. We wish her every success and we will be including her essay and photos in the near future.
Update September 2011:
My name is Maranatha Yashara Barbudo Noh, people call me Mar. I’m 20 years old now and ever since I was little I was always different. I had a nice childhood, maybe not the best but I was privileged with tight family values and love. I spent here at Isla Mujeres, Q. Roo all of my early schooling up to the middle of High school. Then, because of some health issues I wasn’t able to finish it here at Isla. All in all, I lost one year of school so, with the help of my family –and not without some sacrifices- I went to Merida, Yucatán to finish my studies there. I stayed with some of my dear aunts. 22 months later, I finished high school in a semi-structured system. I learned the value of family as well as the meaning of friendship thanks to extraordinary people whom, even now in the distance, I carry in my heart.
Most of all, I was able to define what I really wanted to be in life. I discovered that amongst all my qualities and abilities, the idea of becoming a Psychologist and help others came from a personal voidthat I needed to fill. I finished high school in great spirits because finally I could go to the University but (economic) crisis struck Isla Mujeres and my family so hard that there was no money left to pay for it nor the expenses that would surely come by. At that particular time, studying turned into a luxury. I was absolutely shattered. But then, thank to God and to you I was able to fulfill my dream. I would first like to thank you for this extraordinary opportunity. For almost a year I hoped and hoped for it to happen and to be sincere, there were times that it felt like a lost cause. To my luck, you came along and gave me this chance, just like if you were my guardian angels. You believed without even knowing me and here I am. Let me share something with you. On the eve of the Big Day, when it would finally be my first day at the University, I couldn’t even sleep, I was so nervous! Finally the day broke and it was August the 1st, at 6:00 am I took a really nice shower to be as awake as I could. Before seven, I had left home and was on my way to the ferry that would take me to the beautiful port of Cancun. I took a cab and asked for the Universidad del Sur (South University). As I arrived, I was sorted in Classroom 7, Building B. As I walked in, there were around 25 other students and we were welcomed. Our first teacher kindly asked us to present ourselves (name, age, where we were from, which high school we were from and if we were currently working). All nervous and excited, we did so one by one. Then came other activities to get to know each other better and then they took us around the facilities. By the way, this University has three major buildings (A, B and C) and all classrooms and even the administrative areas have air conditioning. We have men’s and women’s restrooms and it has have 2 coffee shops. In Buildings A and C, the coordinators and administrative employees are nice simple people who supports us and are always willing to share their knowledge whenever we ask for it. Classes go from Monday to Thursday with different schedules that start at 8:00 am. These first two weeks were part of a Propedeutic course and today, August 15th classes started officially, that is for the Psychology course. On a first look, classes aren’t easy but, hey, nothing that can’t be learned. Maybe I don’t have the same knowledge I had a year ago because I was on a sort of learning-break but I have the will and the motivation to get through and make the most out of the opportunity you’ve given me. No words can express how thankful I am and may God bless you for making the dream come true, not only for me but for all the young people you are helping without even knowing them.
Update May 2012: We are pleased to contribute to funds saved by Maranatha Barbudo allowing her to attend, as part of her course studies, the 1st regional congress in clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy. The conference takes place in Valladolid, Yucatan, and will be attended by professionals and students from 7 Mexican states. Maranantha is very excited with this opportunity to learn from top professionals in the field.
Special News April 2013: Maranatha Barbuda presented a talk on the Ron Brown Scholarship Fund at the recent We Move Forward conference held on Isla Mujeres. Maranatha spoke of her childhood growing up on Isla Mujeres and of the struggles of her family after the death of her father. The conference delegates were very impressed to learn of how the Fund has given her hope and a focus for her studies and her future. Gladys Galdamez translated her talk and we are very grateful to them for sharing her story.
Update December 2013:
This past semester was very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed my classes. Psicotherapy 2 was one of my favourites, I had my first patient, under the supervision of my professor, a 26 year old, I worked with her for 4 months. It was an extraordinary achievement as we watch her improvements, even though a little sad to see it come to an end. As all therapy it has a closing, but satisfied with the outcome.
The second assignment was Mexican Psycology , through which I studied Mexico´s history from other perspectives. This assignment encouraged me more to contribute to my country to help specially women, so we can have a better life. I took the liberty of sharing with my group your work of helping Mexican women with no resources to study and change theirs lives, it is a great honor for me to belong to your group.
The third assignment and my favourite was file case integration, which is applying psychometric test to patients to diagnose them and decide on the best treatment.
This past semester has been the mostenriching for me, my professors as well as my classmates have shared a lot of teaching and learning leaving me the richer for it.
I am also working at a preschool doing my field practices, diagnosing and treating children, one of them is a case of Asperger. I am always amazed at what the children give me, it marvelous and sensational for which I am grateful to you for helping me accomplish my dreams.
I am almost there, I have one more semester to go which will be the hardest because of the field practices, social service and the studies, but almost done. Thank you.
Update October 2014: We are happy to congratulate Maranatha on the completion of her degree in Psychology. She is currently working for the social services and family welfare office on Isla Mujeres teaching a self esteem and personal advancement course.