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    Posted October 18, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Tell us the Good Stuff!

    SHINE Honduras

    The word shine may not mean much to most people, but to underprivileged children in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, SHINE means a changed life.
    The Program
    SHINE is a bilingual education program formed by a group of missionaries that wanted to make a permanent difference in Honduras. “ In providing free education to children who otherwise could never afford private school, Shine is creating an opportunity for the children and donors alike to change the world,” says Robert Elliott, one Shine founder. After traveling to Honduras one spring break, a group of missionaries from Oklahoma decided education was the key to bettering a community. Shine provides education for all ages of students in the Mateo area of Tegucigalpa. There are currently 10 students whose age’s range from a senior in a Honduran university down to children just entering kindergarten.
    Donors only pay $250 a month to provide transportation to and from school, school supplies and an afterschool tutor. The students are placed in a prestigious private school where they are taught only in English. The school also provides extracurricular classes of swimming, German and many other subjects. The program strives to create a program that helps, not only the students, but the country as well.
    “I think Shine is a great organization because the students are not only getting an education, but they are also given many opportunities to serve others and become leaders,” says Sadie Rosenthal, a donor and student at Oklahoma Christian University.
    Shine students choose to serve in the community of Tegucigalpa as their way of giving back some of what has been given to them. They clean up trash, feed the homeless and work with visiting missionaries.
    The Vision
    The idea for Shine was formed after an Oklahoma Christian group visited Honduras and decided they wanted to do more than vacation Bible school and building homes. They wanted to impact the families from the Mateo Church in Tegucigalpa and hoped to let this impact spread throughout the entire country. They believe education is the way to making a difference in children’s lives. “If you can educate one group of bright and motivated children, you bring potential doctors, engineers, lawyers and many more professions into the country’s future,” says Kathy Elliott, co-founder of Shine.

    Shine is not only changing the lives of the students in the program, but it is changing the lives of students in America as well. Gamma Rho, a social club at Oklahoma Christian, began supporting one Shine student last fall, and since then many girls from the club made the decision to visit Honduras and continue making a difference. Other students from Oklahoma Christian sacrifice their spring break to travel to Honduras and work with the Shine students and other Hondurans. “My friends come back every spring break having seen God through the people of Honduras and having their lives changed while serving others,” says Caitlin Crocket, a senior at Oklahoma Christian.

    For students, putting a backpack on every morning and going to school may seem like a burden, but when approached with the right mindset, it can be a way to impact the world. Shine is one word, one program and one-way lives are being changed globally.
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