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Laura
Laura, 24, was born in Medellín, Colombia. She is currently studying Social Work at the University of Antioquia through a PAES scholarship which was awarded to the best high school student in Colombia.

Laura's goal is to get a master's in Human Rights from Harvard or the London School of Economics. The Kiva support will help her pay for her GRE preparation courses, the TOEFL exam registration and application costs to universities, since she does not have the economic resources to pay for it.

This is her story:

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." Mark Twain

Like for many, one of the most difficult and important decisions for me was deciding what field of study to go into, as a life-long project, to find out why I am here. Now, five years later, I could not be more proud of my decicion: Social Work. To find the apex between what you love, what you are good at and what the world needs, is the luck of only a few.

Since I was a little girl I have had a huge social sensitivity, belonging to youth groups, parishes, and having excellent academic results. I was granted a scholarship for the best high school student, and that is when I decided to use my skills to study social sciences. Throughout my academic career I have found much affinity with human rights and I have realized that its guarantee to society is fundamental. That is why I want to dedicate my life to fighting for its complete fulfillment. I feel I have the skills for it; however, at this time I am limited economically.

I am self-taught and learned English independently. To pay for my studies I have taught English at several institutions. In Brazil I had the opportunity of working as an interpreter for the UN at the Rio + 20 event.

My grade point average is 4.2 out of 5 and I have much international experience. The most important one was working for an NGO in Brazil, using my professional knowledge and helping change society.

The total cost of post-graduate studies applications overseas is equivalent to five months of work, without including the fact that in order to work as a student internationally, I had to take on many costs related to travel tickets, maintenance, etc.

After I finish my master's and return to Colombia, I would like to work for a United Nations agency, managing research projects for development in my region. During my undergraduate studies I had the opportunity to work on a research project with a UN agency, the PNUD about forced displacement in eastern Antioquia, and we designed an intervention proposal. What I like most is the research aspect of social problems and how to apply it to concrete resolution of said problems. But in order to have a significant influence, one must have a strong training background, and that is why a post-graduate degree is necessary.

As part of the regional talent seedbed of COLFUTURO, I can guarantee that the support of the KIVA Foundation will be totally rewarded through my work as a professional and my contribution to my country, upon my return.
View original language description ↓
Laura tiene 24 años y nació en Medellín, Colombia. En estos momentos está estudiando Trabajo Social en la Universidad de Antioquia gracias a que recibió la Beca PAES que se le otorga al mejor bachiller de Colombia.

Laura tiene el sueño de realizar una maestría en derechos humanos en Harvard o en el London School of Economics. El apoyo de Kiva ayudaría a que pueda pagar los cursos de preparación del GRE, la inscripción al examen del TOEFL y los costos de aplicación a las universidades ya que no cuenta con los recursos económicos para ello.

Aquí está su historia:

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." Mark Twain

Como para muchos, una de las decisiones más difíciles e importantes para mí fue el elegir un campo de estudio, un proyecto de vida, el darme cuenta por qué estoy aquí. Ahora, 5 años después no podría estar más orgullosa de mi decisión: el Trabajo Social. Encontrar el vértice entre lo que amas, para lo que eres bueno y lo que el mundo necesita, es una suerte de pocos.

Desde pequeña he tenido gran sensibilidad social, siendo parte de grupos juveniles, parroquiales, y excelentes resultados académicos; producto de ello es la beca como mejor bachiller, entonces decidí conjugar ambas y dedicarme al estudio de las ciencias sociales. A lo largo de mi desempeño académico he encontrado una gran afinidad con los derechos humanos y me he dado cuenta que su garantía es fundamental para la sociedad, es por esto por lo que quiero dedicar mi vida a luchar por su realización plena. Considero que tengo todas las capacidades para ello, sin embargo, en este momento mi único impedimento es el económico.
Soy autodidacta: aprendí inglés de forma independiente y para sostener mis estudios me he desempeñado como docente de inglés en varias instituciones. En Brasil tuve la oportunidad de participar como intérprete para la ONU en el evento Rio + 20.

Mi promedio es de 4.2/5 y he tenido varias experiencias internacionales; la más importante trabajar en una ONG en Brasil aplicando mis conocimientos profesionales y aportando a transformar la sociedad.
El costo total de las aplicaciones al posgrado en el exterior es equivalente a 5 meses de trabajo, sin sumarle que para realizar mi actual práctica internacional tuve que adquirir una serie de deudas relacionadas con el pago de tiquetes aéreos, mantenimiento, etc.

Una vez realice mi maestría y regrese a Colombia, quisiera trabajar en alguna de las agencias de las Naciones Unidas dirigiendo proyectos de investigación para el desarrollo de mi región. En el pregrado tuve la oportunidad de trabajar en un proyecto de investigación con la agencia de la ONU, el PNUD sobre el desplazamiento forzado en el oriente de Antioquia, y diseñamos una propuesta de intervención. Lo que más me gusta es el aspecto investigativo de los problemas sociales y su aplicación a la resolución concreta de dichos problemas. Pero para poder influir de forma significativa es necesario tener una fuerte formación, de ahí la necesidad del posgrado.

Como parte del semillero de talentos regionales de COLFUTURO puedo garantizar que el apoyo de la fundación KIVA se va a ver totalmente retribuido en mi desempeño como profesional y el aporte que realizaré en mi país cuando regrese.

Additional Information

More information about this loan


This loan is part of Colfuturo's "Semillero de Talentos" program, which identifies high-achieving, low-income university students and helps them apply to graduate schools abroad. The program offers loans to pay for language classes, language exams and application fees, transportation to cities for exams and interviews, and visa expenses. By funding this loan, you are helping a student with limited options pursue a graduate degree and increase their future income.

About Colfuturo:

Colfuturo is a non-profit public service institution that helps Colombian college graduates finance post-graduate degrees abroad. The organization provides loans and incentivizes recipients to return to Colombia after receiving their degrees to help the country grow and develop. Kiva loans will help low-income students at state universities afford high application costs, including exam and application fees, travel expenses, visa expenses and language courses. These loans will open new opportunities for students who have long been excluded from higher education.

About Colombia

  • $6,070
    Average annual income
  • 288
    View loans »
    Colombia Loans Fundraising
  • $13,892,025
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 1,801.5
    Colombia Pesos (COP) = $1 USD
Ended with Loss - Currency Exchange Loss learn more
A loan of $1,675 helped Laura to pay for her masters degree in Human Rights.
88% repaid
Repayment Term
29 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Irregularly
Disbursed:
Nov 25, 2012
Listed
Oct 15, 2012
Currency Exchange Loss:
Possible
Ended:
May 21, 2015