I’m cheating a little because I’ve written about this child before. But it’s now buried under a year or so of other posts.  Because this child amazes me, I love talking about him.  And it’s an excuse to go through my pictures looking for the very best ones to share with you.  That there is reason enough to proceed.

I first met Maycol one year and one month ago.

He was the tiniest child I had ever seen on the street and had learned to be wary of strangers. (My first sign that this is one smart kid.) He let me buy him some food but wouldn’t let me take him anywhere and wouldn’t let me get too close.  Our paths crossed multiple times over the next six months.  (Read about it here.)  After learning that he has a brother in Proniño (a ‘fact’ of which I am now a little skeptical of) he was moved from Nueva Esperanza to Proniño.  Woohoo!

Maycol and his ‘brother’ Denis

Things started normally enough.  He was quickly moved from Nueva Vida, the intake center, to Vencedores, where the youngest boys live.  He was acquiring a rapidly growing number of marbles from the daily showdowns in circles hastily drawn in the dust.  And he started attending Gerardo Klein, Proniño’s on-site school.

Five months later, I was coloring with a group of the little ones when he asked me to write something for him to read.


Come on Jenny, give me something harder.

“El gatito juega con la lana.”

More sentences!

Four sentence stories about the aforementioned cat and all of her kittens.

No sweat.

Comprehension questions about said cat family, something that most kids struggle with when learning to read.

Sometimes he needed to glance back at the story, but for the most part, he nailed each one.  Who is this child?  I am not a teacher, but learning to read in a few months seems above average to me.

A few months later, I brought color by number activity pages in which the kids had to add before they found the number that would tell them which color they should use.  Every kid I worked with wanted the single digit addition page, and struggled.  Maycol asked for the double-digit addition, didn’t ask me a single question, and got all of the problems right.  Again I say, who IS this child??

I marvel when I think about where he came from compared to where he is now.  When I first met him, he was crouching on the backs of trucks so the drivers couldn’t see him.  When a second glance in the rearview mirror revealed his fingers grasping the truck bed, he was shooed away in disgust.  If only the shooers knew they were tossing aside a child who could defy the odds when given a chance.

My dream for him is that he’ll one day attend private school.  He sure is smart enough.  Not surprisingly, he still has a whole lot of the street in him, which leads to solving all problems with his fists.  For some reason, this is often frowned upon in both public and private schools.  So here he is, in Gerardo Klein, being his super smart self and working on that other issue.

Every year, Proniño has to raise tens of thousands of dollars to educate the boys.  What opportunities could be opened up if that task was fulfilled before the school year even starts in 2013?  Your donation to Ornaments for Education would ensure that all of the costs related to Maycol’s education would be covered, which means Proniño could focus resources on things like behavioral issues.  Will you join me in supporting kids like Maycol by donating this year?  The first two donations will receive the ornaments that Maycol made.  That’s some incentive, right?

To donate, click here!  And click on the donate tab.

P.S.  Thanks to some people quickly responding to the first post about Ornaments for Education, including one extremely amazing and generous donation, we are already at $8,400!  Already 1/3 or the way to the $24,000 goal!

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