Brenda is 15 years old, the youngest of 3 children, and in her fourth year of high school at Colegio Cristiano Reformado Los Guandules of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

Last year, Brenda took part for the second time in the district Spelling Olympiad, on behalf of Colegio Cristiano Reformado Los Guandules. The previous year Brenda had come in third of hundreds of high school students who participated.

This time Brenda was determined to finish in first place.  Her literature teacher, Dahina Lewis, decided to volunteer one hour after class every day to help Brenda strengthen her reading and spelling. The hard work of both prepared Brenda for the competition.

All their hard work paid off - Brenda won first place in the Spelling Olympiad of all San Pedro de Macorís!

Brenda was recognized by the Mayor of San Pedro de Macorís, and also by the Rafael Rivera Foundation as an outstanding student, for having one of the most outstanding school grades among all students in the city during the past school year.

Not everything in the life of Brenda is rosy.  Her father has a permanent disability, after an operation performed to remove a brain tumor. Brenda's mother works as a lawyer and social worker, providing the livelihood for the whole family. Despite all the difficulties that her family faces, Brenda is very focused on her studies and wants to move forward and reach her goals, in order to be able to contribute positively to the well-being of her family and community.

COCREF’s desire is to support many children and young people like Brenda as they strive to reach their goals.  While many desperate young people opt for crime and prostitution, thanks to the support she has received Brenda is a model for her school, her siblings and her community.  We are grateful to God and to our sponsors for making this possible, for Brenda and for all students attending COCREF schools.

Brenda’s prayer request is that God will open doors for her to graduate and go to college, and that God will guide her steps.

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