WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW WITH PATRICIO NARVAEZ? Patricio entered the Universidad Nacional, and stayed there for 3 semesters, doing reasonably well in most classes. He, along with many classmates, failed a programming class. We and Patricio decided that it would be best to work on his computer engineering degree through an on-line program through the Unversidad Tecnológica Particular de Loja (UTPL). This would permit him to advance in his study and at the same time to continue with his small computer business. He is now in his second semester in this program, doing reasonably well. Patricio is a dedicated member of our foundation, helping other students with computer issues and also helping us to prepare videos to show at our fund-raiser last summer.
Patricio Narvaez graduated from the Working Boys’ Center 12 years ago with a specialization in carpentry. He still uses what he learned to build furniture for his mother’s house and for his friends. But since his graduation, he has made himself into a highly skilled computer technician. While working to support his family during the day, he finished high school studying electronics and computers. He then got work as a computer technician, and because of his skills, work ethic, and responsibility, he advanced rapidly in the companies for which he worked. Patricio became a valued employee of Planet Computer, one of the bigger companies in Ecuador. They sent him to all parts of Ecuador to do installation and repair work.
During his years of work as a computer technician, Patricio realized that his opportunities and pay were limited by the amount of education he had. So he enrolled in a university in Quito to study computer science at night. After three semesters, Patricio’s university and 28 others in Ecuador were closed by the government for failure to meet accreditation standards. Patricio and many other students were then left to try to connect with other universities to continue their studies. In Patricio’s case, this proved impossible because of the demands of his job. In effect, the work of three semesters was lost.
In the summer of 2012, Patricio decided to try to use the client base he had developed in his previous work to start his own small business. He felt that this might also allow him the freedom he would need to continue his education. He now has a small store in his barrio where he does sales and repairs, and he has had a lot of success through the internet. He has taken the government’s new college entrance exams twice, and the second time, he was admitted to a position in the Computer Engineering program in the Universidad Central. He wants to start taking classes there in the fall. Since Patricio has shown the intelligence, technical skills, and work ethic that we expect of our students, the Fund has decided to give Patricio our support.
We also support Patricio’s sister Jenny, who is studying to be a veterinarian at the same university. Patricio is a valued member of our community; he readily helps us with computer issues and offers support and encouragement to others of our students.