In her own words

Filed Under: EARTH Stories
Date: November 28th, 2017

Giving Tuesday 2017

On Giving Tuesday, we give thanks to you – our committed friends and supporters, people focused on the future who enable EARTH University to carry out its mission. When you support EARTH, you help make it possible for young leaders from across the globe to acquire the scientific knowledge and entrepreneurial experience necessary to transform their communities from the ground up. Our diverse students and alumni hail from more than 40 countries spanning five different continents, including young people who have grown up in rural Costa Rica – aspiring leaders from villages nearby to our campus.

In the spirit of giving thanks, one such student, fourth-year student Carolina Aguilar (’17, Costa Rica), shares her story below:

When I finished high school, I really had no idea what I wanted to do. But what I did have was an ambition to learn more and to help people around me. I knew that I had to choose a profession that I could feel passionate about. 

Carolina arrived on EARTH's campus in January, 2014.

Carolina arrived on EARTH’s campus in January, 2014.

My love for nature drew me to forestry, environmental science or agronomy. I knew that EARTH offered a degree in agronomy, but when I read the course descriptions and about the holistic focus of the program, I felt immediately that it was a place where I could fit in. I thought that the focus on the factors affecting the development of rural communities might result in something really different. This is important to me not only because I am from a rural community, but because the food we eat every day comes from those communities. We owe them our best effort.

The first time I applied to EARTH, I did not receive a scholarship. Although this was a big disappointment, and it made me feel lost in terms of my life plan, it also taught me that you can never stop seeking opportunities to be a better person. The second time I applied, I honestly didn’t think I would be selected. 

When I learned that I had gotten the scholarship, I felt that my life’s dream was coming true because I was going to have the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment like EARTH. It was not only the opportunity to live away from home, with classmates from around the world, in the middle of 3,000 hectares in the rainforest. 

Carolina (left) collaborated with Johana, a Colombian classmate, to develop a more just economic model for the sale of fresh food.

Carolina (left) collaborated with Johana, a Colombian classmate, to develop a more just economic model for the sale of fresh food.

It was also a life experience that has given me truly extraordinary tools with which to help others. When I graduate I want to start a small supermarket with a waste management program and a vegetable garden that supplies the vegetables for the area without the use of plastic bags. I want the store to be a model business for the town. 

Without a scholarship, it was not possible for me to enroll at EARTH. So to those who give scholarships, I want to say that you are providing life-changing opportunities that will impact the common good. It isn’t just about helping one person to change her life. More importantly, giving to EARTH University is about making it possible for a group of people, through their values, knowledge and actions, to make this world a better place for many others.  Thank you!

With gratitude,
Signed, Carolina

Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving to charitable organizations. For this one day only, our friends at Follow Your Heart have agreed to match each gift made to EARTH University, up to $5,000, immediately doubling your potential impact. Please make a gift today in support of EARTH students like Carolina.

Click here to support future leaders like Carolina.

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