Colombia Student Profiles

Profiles for our Colombian students are still coming in and we will update this page as they become available. Below we profile the students whose information we have on file.

Yuly Chica
Lynn University '12

Yuly Chica Yuly was born and raised in a big and very hectic city in the northwest region of Colombia called Medellin. She never gave up on her dream to become an excellent professional: skills that she is currently attaining at a very diverse campus in the city of Boca Raton Florida. She obtained a full scholarship to pursue her degree in International Business and a minor in International Relations, "the perfect match", she says. Her financial situation was never a problem because she had the "willingness and desire to learn what most people from a second world nation prefer not to have". These skills that she always displayed while in high school were discovered by Juan Mazo, one of the EducationUSA advisors in Colombia that actively works in conjunction with USAP. He was always there for her and lit her way out until she got to the United States. Yuly kept herself busy while in high school always willing to learn in and out of the classrooms which allowed her to learn the English language very well.

The CEFA (Centro Formativo de Antioquia) High School which she attended gave her the chance to gain quality education and learn from wonderful qualified professors that opened a completely new world for her. Through the school she became acquainted with the Centro Colombo Americano where she learned the English language and applied to Lynn University. In her local community, Yuly was engaged and participated in a Church group called Voluntariado de Salud (Health Volunteering) assisting individuals with disabilities and terminally ill patients.

Her life changed radically after getting her visa approved, being on a plane for the first time, and coming to the US. "It all paid off". Yuly plans to "go higher" by running to be the presidentof the International Affairs Society in the Fall of 2009 and getting involved in Rotaract and Boca Helping Hands, organizations that make a difference in people's lives. Juan Camilo Tamayo, the Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Lynn UNiversity who guided her through the process of applying to the school says is proud of her accomplishments. Yuly plans to contribute to her country's development by presenting a project to the Alcaldia de Medellin that allows kids from the Barrio Manrique (a low class neighborhood in Medellin) to learn English.

Yuly is looking forward to years filled with joys and blessings. In the Spring of 2010 Yuly is planning to go to John Cabot University in Rome (Italy) where she will complete an unforgetable semester abroad and gain valuable international experience. How many more great things coming? She is not sure but she will keep working hard and take them as they come.

Silvia Calderon
Berea College '13

Silvia CalderonHer hard work and dedication allowed Silvia to see her dreams come true. Awarded with a full scholarship and the opportunity to pursue a Bachelor´s degree on a field of her interest, Silvia is a current senior at Berea College. This unique college, located in the state of Kentucky, offers a high-quality, liberal arts education to students, like Silvia, who have great promise but limited economic resources. Silvia is currently building up an independent major in Ecological Architecture by combining Art with a concentration in ceramics, Environmental Sustainability and Tech classes.

Born and raised in the city of Bucaramanga, located in the northeast of Colombia, Silvia always tried to be fully involved with her community. Before leaving for the United States to pursue her Bachelor´s degree, Silvia was an active member of voluntary organizations such as the YMCA. Here, she was in charge of planning and conducting leadership workshops. Furthermore, Silvia was part of the YMCA´s international office where not only she taught English classes to children and young people with financial limitations, but also planned and helped organize English immersion camps.

After graduating from high school in 2006, Silvia entered the Centro Colombo Americano where she studied English for almost one year and a half. Here, she was awarded with a work study scholarship that provided her with not only work and practical experience, but also with a sense of direction and a genuine job perspective. Then, in July 2007, through a nation-wide selection process supported by the Centro Colombo Americano of Bucaramanga, Silvia was chosen to be one of the 15 participants of the United States Achievers Program (USAP) and Opportunity Funding (OF) sponsored and supported by Education USA and the US Department of State, respectively. To Silvia, this was the most promising life-changing experience she could have ever had. USAP and OF welcomed Silvia to their big family and gave her the necessary tools and financial support that she needed to start her studies in the United States. Then, on May 2009, Silvia was admitted to Berea College where she would experience both, American culture and college life.

At present, Silvia is an Art History Teaching Assistant in the Art Department, and a new member of the Berea college Ceramic Apprenticeship program and a volunteer of the Berea Buddies program, a program dedicated to building and establishing mentoring relationships between the youth of the Berea community and Berea College students. She is also one of the two student vice-presidents of Phi Kappa Phi, the vice-president of the Latin American Student Association (LASA) and an active member of Mortar Board honor society. According to her, 2012 was a year of blessings and success. At the 2012 Berea College Learning, Labor and Service Awards, Silvia received the Mortar Board Honor society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor society, Design for a Summer scholarship, Carlisle Keller McDonald Scholarship for Study abroad (Paris, France) and Phi Kappa Phi Scholars Honor Society award.

Ivan Suarez
Berea College '14

Ivan SuarezFor Ivan, everything started when his dream of travelling the world led him to seek an education abroad. He always stood out for being an individual with clear goals and the determination to attain them. Thus, his first step was to learn English. He taught himself the language by listening to music and by watching television shows online. Later on in high school, Ivan enrolled in an advanced English course advertised by his school at a local university in his hometown. This motivation for the language was noticed by his English teacher and together, they decided to form the first English Club at the school to have students interact more with the language after classes by having discussions and reading articles in English.

In the midst of all of this, Ivan continued to research universities and colleges in the United States. Berea College, the school where he is now a senior, came across suddenly when he was on the internet searching for scholarships for international students. He contacted the International Student Adviser of this institution and for almost two years, they maintained a Q&A about all the procedures and requirements to apply to Berea. Finally, during his senior year in high school, Ivan met Education USA adviser Martha Roman when she was conducting a presentation in his school. Martha gave Ivan valuable advice and after working together, he was nominated to become a part of The United States Achievers Program (USAP) and to receive the Opportunity Grant (OG) sponsored and supported by Education USA and the U.S. Department of State. After being admitted to USAP, he kept on preparing all the necessary documents to apply to Berea.

Ivan received a full tuition scholarship from Berea College and a room and board scholarship for the duration of his first year. He is a Chemistry major with a minor in French and a member of the school's swim team. Ivan also participates in Berea's labor program where he works a job on campus 10 hours every week. For two years, he worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Chemistry Program tutoring students outside of class and helping with lab technique and analysis instrumentation. Additionally next year, he will start a new job at the Center for International Education working with the Programming and the Education Abroad team. He will also continue to swim for the school in his senior year to work towards qualifying for the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) again.

In the summer of 2012, Ivan participated in a summer class to study abroad in Paris, France for four weeks and worked at Clemson University in South Carolina conducting biomedical research in Dr. Modi Wetzler's lab. Additionally, in 2013 he was invited to participate in the Kentucky Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (KBRIN) as a research assistant for 10 weeks.

Ivan will graduate in May of 2014 and he hopes to take a year off to study somewhere in the world to pick up another language and return to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in Biomedical research.

John Anderson Sanchez
Berea College '15

John Anderson Sanchez "Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do." — Benjamin Spock

This is a big truth that John Anderson corroborated in his application process to a US University, working hard and trusting himself to succeed in what he did. He was a high school student when an EducationUSA Advisor told him about study opportunities in the United States and he immediately started the process.

He was always a talented student who did his best to achieve his dreams. From a very young age, he started serving in a small church in his city, Armenia, as a childrens' teacher, drums player and a youth leader as well. When he developed a better English level, he started to teach the language to young children and kids with disabilities in some vulnerable sectors of Armenia and Circasia, Colombia.

When he was selected as a Youth Ambassador he joined the YMCA in Colombia and continued his community service there as an English teacher where he could improve his leadership. He traveled to the US in November-December of 2010 to Seattle, New York and Washington DC representing his country and learning about a new culture. As he knew that he could accomplish bigger things, he applied to Berea College in Kentucky and was admitted with a full scholarship during his four years. The US Department of State contributed with the Opportunity Scholarship to cover pre-departure fees and a round trip airfare.

Now he is going to travel to achieve one of his biggest dreams, knowing that challenges make us stronger and purposeful in life.