Summit Scholarship

Program Description

The Summit Scholarship Fund (SSF) was created in 2006 to support the educational goals of GOJoven Fellows who have successfully completed their fellowship in PHI’s Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (GOJoven). The SSF is designed to enhance the capacity of these select group of young GOJoven leaders to advance adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) programs, policies and services in Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and Quintana Roo, México.

The SSF provides guidance and financial assistance to support GOJoven Alumni Fellows’ efforts to achieve their short and long-term academic goals. The program has been quite successful thus far, with 98% of current scholarship recipients excelling in their educational and extracurricular work with a GPA of 3.0 or above.

Dunia“I know that with my Master’s Degree in Documentary Filmmaking, I’ll be able to create TV programs and series that carry a strong message of equality, participation, education and entertainment. I want to tell stories of the diverse SRH issues that exist in Honduras and ensure that the realities of women, young people and LGBT individuals are reflected in the Honduran media”

Dunia Orellana, Graduated Scholarship Recipient and 2004 GOJoven Fellow from Honduras

Scholarship eligibility criteria includes:

(1) Successful completion of the GOJoven Fellowship, including active participation in the design and implementation of the Leadership Action Plan.
(2) Continued active participation as a GOJoven Fellow.
(3) Two strong letters of recommendation;
(4) An ability to articulate how an advanced education will contribute to the field of sexual and reproductive health in the Alumni Fellow’s country of origin.

Unlike most other scholarships, Summit Scholarship recipients can apply for renewal support each year as long as the recipient meets certain reporting and GPA requirements. Each award is made with the expectation that, if the recipient fulfills these program requirements, future support may be granted.

Calls for applications are usually in May and November of each calendar year. Please contact Josie Ramos at for more information.

Graduated Summit Scholars

  • 2005 GOJoven Alum from Cancun, Quintana Roo, México
  • Master’s Degree in Family Therapy, Graduated May 2010
  • Universidad del Mayab in Mérida, Yucatán
  • Total Summit Scholarship Grant 2007-2010: $25,413
Career Plans
  • Social worker in the new government IMSS Regional Hospital in Cancun.
  • Legally registered her NGO dedicated to adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) in Cancun with her friend and colleague, 2005 Summit Fellow Marco Antonio Toh.

Aide Ortiz Avila's full bio »

  • 2004 GOJoven Alum from Belmopan, Belize
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, graduated May 2011
  • Master’s Degree in Social Work, will graduate May 2012
  • Grambling State University (GSU) in Louisiana, KY, USA
  • Total Summit Scholarship Grant 2009-2011: $25,014
Career Plans
  • Research a PhD program in Social Work or Public Health to complete his PhD by 2015
  • Have a position in the Ministry of Public Health or the Ministry of Social Development in Belize

Elvis Tillet's full bio »

  • 2004 Alum from Orange Walk, Belize
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Education, graduated December 2010
  • Master’s Degree in Education, graduated December 2011
  • Grambling State University (GSU), Louisiana, KY, USA
Career Plans
  • Complete a Doctorate in Educational Leadership on a full fellowship at the University of Minnesota in the Fall of 2012.
  • Return to Belize in 2013 to complete his research and write his dissertation.
  • Run for Minister of Education or Prime Minister of Belize in the next six years to establish a national sexual education policy and curriculum for Belize.
Current Projects
  • Completing a Ph.d in Leadership at University of Minnesota.

Rudolph Khendis Ellis's full bio »

  • 2006 Alum from Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico
  • Master’s Degree in Science and Chemical Technology, graduated May 2011
  • Universitat de les Illes Balears in Mallorca, Spain
Career Plans
  • Remain as Executive Director of NGO she founded in 2009 called Environmental Protection and Public Health (PAS)
  • Continue her advocacy efforts for clean and sustainable water access in Quintana Roo and access to reproductive health for youth

Cecilia Cortes Santiago's full bio »

  • 2004 Alum from La Ceiba, Honduras
  • Master’s Degree in Documentary Filmmaking, Graduated November 2012
  • Universidad School of Fine Arts (TAI) in Madrid, Spain
Career Plans
  • To work as a member of the production staff at a major television network in Honduras to ensure quality programming for Honduran youth
  • Produce and direct widely distributed films portraying the struggles of minorities’ SRH rights in Honduras
Current Projects
  • Dunia’s focus on documentary filmmaking has pushed her to look at the world through others’ eyes in order to tell their stories and she has greatly improved her technical skills, particularly in visual storytelling, cinematography and post-production.
  • Dunia’s final film project called “Aqui donde me ves” (Here where you see me) is a three-part story about three people who make meaningful connections in their lives via the internet and technology. The film will be uploaded to Youtube in January 2013.
  • She is currently exploring various storylines for a new documentary project. Potential topics include teen pregnancy, LGBT youth rights in Honduras, and living with HIV.

Dunia Orellana's full bio »

  • 2007 GOJoven Alum from Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social Development and Management
  • Metropolitan University of Honduras in Tegucigalpa, Graduated December 2012
Career Plans
  • Continue as a Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender (GLBT) activist
  • Continue working as Executive Director of Youth in Movement Association (AJEM) and increase sustainability of the organization, which was established as part of the Honduran 2007 GOJoven Leadership Action Plan.
Impact / Professional Growth
  • Alex has applied the management techniques he learned during his studies to support the professional growth of AJEM staff, as well as the growth of the institution itself.
Current Projects
  • Begin a Master’s Degree in Program Administration at the Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana in January 2013.
  • Long-term plan: Work as a high school counselor in Tegucigalpa.

Alex Sorto's full bio »

  • 2007 Alum from Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development, Graduated September 2012
  • Central American Technical University (UNITEC) in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Career Plans
  • Obtain a government post to ensure a sustainable future for Honduras
  • Contribute to the national SRH plan for Honduras to ensure that it reflects the needs of youth and adolescents

Ivonne Diaz del Valle's full bio »

  • 2007 Alum from Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, Mexico
  • Master’s Degree in Education, classes completed (currently finalizing thesis), expected graduation in May 2013
  • Monterrey Technological Virtual University in Quintana Roo, Mexico
Career Plans
  • Become tenured instructor at the Mayan University of Quintana Roo in Jose Maria Morelos and integrate SRH projects intocommunity-based learning (like the GOJoven leadership action plans) in an academic setting
  • Work as a trainer of teachers.
  • Participate in and contribute to GOJoven workshops as a trainer and provide any necessary logistical support to the GOJoven program.
Impact / Professional Growth
  • Nicté has improved her research skills, particularly in seeking appropriate data collection instruments.
Current Projects
  • o Currently, Nicté is planning on obtaining her Master’s in Community Psychology; she is researching a number of programs and institutions toward that end.

Cecilia Nicté Chable Berlín's full bio »

  • 2008 Fellow from Puerto Cortes, Honduras
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Graduated May 2012
  • National Pedagogical University, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Career Plans
  • Obtain an administrative post in a school district and influence SRH curriculum in schools.
Current Projects
  • Gaby is the temporary coordinator for the National AIDS Forum, where she is working on advocacy measures and on strengthening the state Adolescent Health Clinic in San Pedro Sula.
  • She would like to study a Masters in Education, with an emphasis in Sex Education because this is a huge gap in the Honduran educational system.

Gabriela Guzman's full bio »

Current Summit Scholars

  • 2004 Alum from Belmopan, Belize
  • High School Diploma, Adventist Adult School, 2008
  • Associates Degree in Nursing, University of Belize, 2009
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, University of West Indies in Belize City, expected graduation in December 2013
Career Plans
  • Continue her work as the GOJoven Belize Country Coordinator to establish GOJoven as a sustainable program in Belize
  • Establish a comprehensive youth friendly health center by 2016

Eva Burgos's full bio »

  • 2007 Alum from Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Bachelor’s in Psychology
  • Catholic University of Honduras, expected graduation in May 2015
Career Plans
  • Work in the NGO sector to serve underprivileged urban youth in Tegucigalpa.

Antonio (Toño) Barahona's full bio »

  • 2006 Alum from Petén, Guatemala
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology
  • Mariano Gálvez University in Petén, Guatemala, graduation in 12/2012
Career Plans
  • Become the Head Psycologist at Tan Ux’il’s Adolescent Health Clinic, offering specialized mental health, trauma, and psychiatry services for adolescents.
  • Become Executive Director of Tan Ux’il in the next seven years.

Esther Barajas's full bio »

  • 2007 Alum from Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, expected graduation in June 2012
  • National Autonomous University of Honduras
Career Plans
  • Become an elected official to have a positive first-hand impact on legislation to protect the ASRH rights of youth in Honduras
  • Serve underprivileged communities in Honduras, especially the LGBT community through advocacy and social services

Wendy Aguilar's full bio »

  • 2005 Alum from El Tejar, Guatemala
  • Bachelor’s in Social Work, expected graduation date of November 2012
  • Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala
Career Plans
  • Establish her own comprehensive NGO that will focus on youth education and counseling, and provide SRH services to promote healthy and cohesive families.

Ana Lourdes Tojin's full bio »

  • 2005 Alum from Chimaltenango, Guatemala.
  • Master’s Degree in Childhood and Adolescent Development, expected graduation date is June 2013.
  • Rafael Landívar University in Guatemala.
Career Plans
  • Continue as an advocate and educator to her Maya Kakchiquel community, where SRH topics are often considered taboo.
  • Apply innovative methodologies to reach Guatemala’s most vulnerable indigenous populations.

Ana Sylvia López's full bio »

  • 2009 Alum from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Social and Legal Sciences
  • Mariano Galvez University in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Career Plans
  • Become one of the only indigenous human rights lawyers in Guatemala and advocate for women’s sexual and reproductive rights on a national level.

Gloria Salanic's full bio »

  • 2009 Alum from Tocoa, Honduras
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Social Development
  • Metropolitan University, in Tocoa, Honduras
Career Plans
  • Open a youth center where he could offer emotional and psychological support to youth dealing with issues of drug abuse and sexual reproductive health.
Impact / Professional Growth
  • Octaciano’s immersion in social development has bolstered his commitment to be a socially responsible member of his community who ensures that local projects are directed to the most vulnerable members of the population.
  • Octaciano has improved his ability to focus on finding solutions to social problems that are realistic and appropriate to each unique situation that presents itself in the community

Octaciano (Chano) Banegas's full bio »

  • 2006 Alum from Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, expected graduation 8/2014
  • Carl Rogers University in Chetumal, Mexico
Career Plans
  • Establish her own practice specializing in sexology, which is not a common practice in her state.
  • Design and implement new interventions to support youth, especially in areas of ASRH.

Silvia Muñoz's full bio »

  • 2010 Fellow from Gracias a Dios, Puerto Lempira, Honduras
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Law, expected graduation 12/2015
  • Central American Technical University (UNITEC) in La Ceiba, Honduras
Career Plans
  • Become one of the only female lawyers in the isolated department of Gracias a Dios.
  • Serve the Misquito community by providing legal advice in their native language.

Griselda Martinez's full bio »

  • 2009 Alum from Colón, Honduras
  • Masters in Psychology, expected graduation in June 2014
  • Catholic University of Honduras in La Ceiba, Honduras
Career Plans
  • Continue working in the government hospital in Colón, serving the Garifuna community in their native language.
  • Provide high quality mental health services, especially to women and youth who are experiencing intra-family violence, and patients living with HIV/AIDS.
Impact / Professional Growth
  • Ivonne reports that her coursework has improved her public speaking skills, time-management skills and her ability to prioritize between what is important and what is urgent.
  • Ivonne has also learned the importance of quantifying data in order to monitor changes and measure impacts. She has also made it her personal mission to distribute more SRH-related materials to adolescents she counsels in the hospital. Ivonne knows the adolescent population is vulnerable and she is now better equipped to identify possible disorders among adolescents in order to follow up with appropriate treatment.

Ivonne Miranda's full bio »

  • 2006 Alum from Peten, Guatemala
  • Master’s Degree in Rural Development, expected graduation in August 2013
  • University of San Carlos in Petén, Guatemala
Career Plans
  • Run a successful election to public office in Guatemala, starting with being the mayor of his city.
  • Implement programs that integrate SRH and environment in the vulnerable rainforests of Peten.

Saul Paau's full bio »

  • 2009 Alum from Corozal, Belize
  • Associate’s Degree in Biology, expected graduation January 2013
  • Belize Adventist Junior College in Corozal, Belize
Career Plans
  • Completing online courses at the moment and be completing his degree by end of January 2013.
  • Wants to work at the Corozal Community Hospital as a nurse , where he did his practicum for his Associates Degree.
  • Longer term, would like to study in Cuba for a medical degree- this is a six year endevour, but Elmer considers it well worthwhile. He is already in the process of applying to medical school and his aunt will support his studies.
  • Field reporter and journalist for Centaur Network in Orange Walk. He has taken this opportunity to write about SRH education in Belize, especially concerning young people.

Elmer Cornejo's full bio »

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