Compassion Expands College Education, Mentoring Program in Honduras

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Compassion International is extending its Leadership Development Program (LDP) into Honduras, the 16th nation to implement the child advocacy organization's educational and spiritual mentoring program.

He opened this program to their country for a purpose. I know we will one day see these young people, with the help of their mentors and sponsors, rise above their circumstances, becoming the men and women God had intended them to be.

Compassion International is extending its Leadership Development Program (LDP) into Honduras, the 16th nation to implement the child advocacy organization's educational and spiritual mentoring program.

The Leadership Development Program targets college-aged students who have successfully graduated from Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program. These are young people who excelled academically and who have exhibited unmistakable leadership characteristics. But they are also young people who would never have the opportunity to attend university if it were not for the Leadership Development Program and a sponsor in the United States who makes the financial and relationship commitment to see that happen. After graduation, they go back to their hometowns as teachers, lawyers, doctors, accountants and engineers - hoping to improve the lives of their countrymen in their own communities.

Students eligible for the program in Honduras are applying for it this month. The final selection will be completed in January, and those who are chosen will begin their college studies in January and February 2008.

"This is an exciting time for so many of our Compassion-assisted young men and women," said Orestes Zuniga, Compassion Honduras Country Director. "The competition for this opportunity is so fierce because there are so many potential students here who are eager to learn and make a positive impact for their own nation. But the real question is will there be sponsors who rise to the challenge of supporting those who are chosen."

Compassion decided to expand the LDP into Honduras because of the growing number of children there graduating from its Child Sponsorship Program. Many of these children have not only shown an interest in pursuing higher education but have also demonstrated high academic ability and spiritual leadership qualities.

"I know God has great plans for the students selected in the Honduras program," said Mike Hinckfoot, Director of Compassion's Leadership Development Program. "He opened this program to their country for a purpose. I know we will one day see these young people, with the help of their mentors and sponsors, rise above their circumstances, becoming the men and women God had intended them to be."

More than 1500 young adults from 15 other countries are enrolled in the program, which began in the Philippines in 1996. In addition to their college curriculum, the students receive extensive Christian leadership training.

To get into the program, each candidate must:

  •     Show strong evidence of Christian character and testify to God's leading in his or her life;
  •     Contribute significantly in school, church and the community;
  •     Maintain outstanding academic performance, along with extracurricular activities;
  •     And contribute to school and community needs.

Compassion International is one of the world's largest Christian child-development organizations, working with more than 65 denominations and nearly 4,000 indigenous church partners in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Since 1952, Compassion has touched the lives of more than 1.6 million children and has been recognized for its financial integrity with top ratings and recommendations by several of the nation's leading not-for-profit "watchdog" organizations.

It costs $3,600 a year to sponsor an LDP student. For more information, contact Compassion online at Compassion.com or by calling (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., MT.

NOTE: To request an interview with Mike Hinckfoot, please contact Steve Yount of A. Larry Ross Communications at 972-267-1111.

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