Tara Dorgan `14 Sponsors Education in Guatemala
Posted October 1, 2012
Tara Dorgan ’14 is committed to serving underprivileged students in Latin America by fundraising and volunteering on their behalf. This summer marked Tara’s fifth trip to Guatemala to connect with its people, volunteer in schools, and to financially sponsor the education of three Guatemalan students. A junior at The Hun School with a hefty workload of her own, Tara spends the remainder of the year balancing school and work - earning money to support the students that have come to mean so much to her.
Tara sees her contributions as a way to show appreciation for the experiences the Guatemalan people have given her. “I’ve received so much from these trips,” she said. “I’ve experienced Guatemalan culture and a new and different way of living. Without these opportunities to volunteer, I wouldn’t have been able to see or feel all that I have. It’s a different way of getting to know a country than being a tourist. These trips have opened my eyes, not only to Latin America, but to the world.”
Prior to her most recent visit, Tara worked as both a camp counselor and office assistant during the summer months. Rather than spend her money on typical teenager items like music and movies, Tara prefers to save and donate her earnings. Her hard work is paying off. She is currently covering the cost of tuition, transportation, textbooks, and uniforms for students in both Guatemala City and Parramos.
Tara’s connection to the country and the children of Guatemala began in 2009 during a service trip. Over the years, her interest in travel, voluntary work as an educator, and financial support has steadily increased.
“Education is not guaranteed to all children in Guatemala, which is why I try to help support individual students. Guatemalan families, who care about education, often look beyond the public school system. I am sponsoring students who cannot pay for their own education and who value the opportunities education provides.”
In March of 2013, Tara plans to return for her sixth service trip. By then, she hopes to have earned or raised the funds to sponsor three more children.
Tara has begun compiling information for a book she intends to write and publish about the Guatemalan people she met. Approximately two years ago, she began interviewing and photographing her friends, then her acquaintances, and eventually members of the community, about life in Guatemala. The proceeds of her book will support the children she sponsors.
“The book will honor the people I have met. I am writing it in both Spanish and English, and hope to have it published by the time I return in March. My hope is to use any proceeds to sponsor another three Guatemalan students. Any additional money will be sent directly to schools in Guatemala,” said Tara.