“I am very grateful to God for everything he has given me and everything he has done for me so far, because of this my dream is to serve according to his purpose, and within this to complete my studies and one day be able to serve my family, friends and community.” – Emeralda Morales Lopez

If you are a young woman, like Esmeralda Morales López, growing up on the island of Ometepe in southern Nicaragua, finding a way to graduate from high school requires an epic struggle with little chance of success. Having the time or resources to turn and help others is an impossibility.

Ometepe is formed by two jungle-covered volcanoes and sits in the south central side of Lake Nicaragua as the world’s largest freshwater island with a population of 30,000 people. Life on the island is slow and simple with few paved roads and as many traveling on horseback or even oxen as by automobile. The average family earns just $50 a month on Ometepe and the great majority of families are subsistence farmers, living off of rice, plantains, mangos and fishing. Families work from sunrise to sunset to feed their families and a bad storm or even a short drought can be devastating.

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Esmeralda joined the Boy With a Ball team to receive a $50 a month scholarship because her family had no way to pay for her to attend the National Autonomous University of Managua. Yet deeper than just needing help to finish her schooling, she was drawn to the possibility that Boy With a Ball offered of being developed as a leader who could turn to help other Nicaraguans.

Very quickly Esmeralda’s sense of humor, caring heart and high level of commitment helped her rise to being Executive Director Erlin Alvarez’s key assistant. Over the past few years, Esmeralda has continued to progress in her studies while playing a key role in Boy With a Ball Nicaragua’s work to launch a weekly tutoring center in a poor neighborhood located close to the university called “Barrio Morales.”

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Later this year, if God wills, Esmeralda will realize her dream of finishing school with her degree in accounting and will accept a position with a company in Managua. However, her desire is to continue to be a main part of Boy With a Ball Managua’s efforts to reach young people and develop them as leader’s just as she has been developed. The name “Esmeralda” is a Spanish word for “emerald” and it is impossible to know Esmeralda without seeing the name as fitting. Boy With a Ball has been given the great privilege and opportunity of helping this “emerald” be developed and shared with impoverished young people in her country who desperately need her.

To take your place in this inspirational story, please email us at info@boywithaball.com to sponsor Esmeralda or another of her team mates to help them reach their dreams of graduating from college and then turning to help other Nicaraguan youth.