Mexico – September 19 2019 Empowering indigenous girls through education: Lupita’s story Lupita wasn't getting the education she deserved in her indigenous community. At SOS, she finally had access to quality education. Now, she's using her knowledge to empower other indigenous girls! Lupita is determined to transform the world through education. Lupita grew up in a Mazahua community in Atlacomulco, Mexico. The Mazahua are the largest indigenous group in Mexico state. She remembers missing a lot of school as a child. Lupita’s local school suffered from budget shortages and wasn’t able to hire enough teachers. And because the school was in a difficult-to-access location, the teachers they did have often failed to show up for class. Lupita wasn’t getting the education she deserved. “I remember feeling that I and the rest of the children who lived in indigenous communities do not have the same right to receive education as children who live in large cities,” Lupita says. But she was determined to change that. Girls who don’t have educational access are often invisible. Join the #iseeyou movement to show these girls that we see them! At the age of 11, Lupita came to SOS Children’s Villages Mexico City with her three siblings. At SOS, she finally had access to quality education. She worked hard and graduated from high school, ready to tackle her future. Her first goal was to help her brother Sergio with the organic co-op at SOS Mexico City, which helped the siblings generate extra income. The co-op became Sergio’s passion and motivated him to study agronomy at the university level. Sergio’s success inspired Lupita to follower her own dreams. Today, she is simultaneously studying for two bachelor’s degrees. At the National Pedagogical University, she spends six days per week studying indigenous education and Saturdays studying preschool education. When she’s not taking classes, Lupita can be found studying in the library. SOS Mexico supports her studies and living expenditures while she strives to reach her goals. In a year and a half, she will earn both of her degrees. With such a tight schedule, determination is key. But she won’t stop there. Lupita wants to set an example for other indigenous girls, so she’s using her knowledge to become a leader in her community. She conducts workshops with Mazahua individuals to learn about their educational needs and raises awareness in the Mazahua community about the importance of education. Her commitment to her heritage is admirable: “When I decided to study two bachelor’s degrees at the same time, everyone told me to think it over because it would be too challenging—and it is. I have to work really hard, but this is what I want; I want indigenous girls like me to have a quality education,” Lupita explains. Because Lupita has access to quality education, she’s able to create her own successful path—and pave the way for children in her community to succeed, too! Education empowers girls—and all children—to reach their dreams Education and empowerment open the door to economic independence. SOS Children’s Villages works to develop well-rounded and self-sufficient young adults, no matter their starting point in life. Our comprehensive approach is tailored to each individual’s passions and skills, empowering them to fulfill their potential. However, a whopping 130 million girls around the world lack access to education. Increasing women’s and girls’ educational attainment is at the core of our global work. In SOS villages, girls have full access to primary, secondary, advanced and vocational education. Education contributes to women’s economic empowerment and to more inclusive economic growth for societies as a whole.