Grethel and Vanessa are two of our Step by Step scholarship students in Nicaragua. Grethel shared her story with us. Grethel’s mother lived in the most dangerous barrio in Nicaragua. It was so dangerous that she left to move to La Chureca to recycle trash because she considered it a better alternative. She continued sorting garbage at the dump even while she was pregnant with Grethel, and when Grethel was six years old she began to recycle garbage too. For Grethel, two memories stand out to her most. She recalls a time when she saw a boy sleeping in a box in the shade, but a truck ran over and killed him. Another memory was of four friends that ate candies found in the trash and became very ill and passed away. Eventually, Grethel and her family received subsidized housing, but her father passed away from a heart attack not long after. She has a stepfather now and he works irregularly as a construction worker. Her mother received a job in the recycling plant at the dump but later lost it due to a dispute with a co-worker. Tim Bouldry, our Step by Step Coordinator in Nicaragua, has personally known Grethel since that time in La Chureca. Tim said, “Grethel is 12 years old and she loves English. She attends all of our English classes and is a very good kid. Next year she will be studying her first year of a private high school at Bautista Las Brisas.” Both Vanessa and Grethel recently graduated primary school with high honors and will begin attending a private high school.