WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW WITH RICHARD MACAS? Richard is now in his 4th semester of study at the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana (UPS), after studying for 3 semesters at another university. He has found a home at UPS. where our students Gaby Lima and Veronica have graduated. The quality of teaching is high and Richard is flourishing as a student. He has an inexpensive apartment near the university ($125/mo), since it takes too much time to ride the bus from his parents’ home in northern Quito to the Engineering campus of UPS, which is in the south of Quito. This was a problem we confronted and dealt with in a similar way in the case of Gaby Lima.
Richard Macas graduated from the Working Boys’ Center in auto mechanics in 2008. He has worked during the days and studied at night, graduating from high school in 2011 as one of the top students in his school. As a mathematics student of Mike’s in 2007, he showed very impressive analytical abilities and the persistence and drive characteristic of very good students that Mike taught at the University of Wisconsin. In Richard’s high school, he developed a serious interest in computer programming, and he has worked part-time with a computer business in Quito. Richard had planned to attend university at night, because he needed to work during the day. However, his ambition is to attend one of the best technical universities in Ecuador, and the Foundation is offering him the support he will need to accomplish this goal.
In order to enter the best technical universities in Ecuador, Richard needs to do well on the national entrance exams that will be given at the end of April, 2012. To help him prepare for these competitive exams, which are especially difficult for students from the public school system, the Foundation is sending Richard to a somewhat expensive test preparation academy, which we have used before to good effect. (The cost is $250 a month, far beyond the budgets of our students and their families.) He is now studying diligently in preparation for the exam.
Update August, 2012: Richard did very well on the national entrance exams in May, scoring 850/1000. He was thus permitted to enroll in the Escuela Politécnica de Ejército (ESPE), which is the best school for applied engineering in Ecuador. During July and August, Richard has been studying a variety of math and science subjects in an excellent preparatory academy. Since ESPE has its campus outside of Quito in the town of San Colgui, Richard has found a room in a residencia near the campus. The room will cost $135 a month; so we hope to find some person or group of persons who would like to help Richard with these costs.
Richard is the third of six children, all of whom have attended school at the Working Boys’ Center. Richard’s parents are long-time members of the Center. They moved to Quito from rural southern Ecuador about twenty years ago. They had made and sold charcoal before moving, but this was insufficient income for their family. Richard’s father moved to Quito in search of better work, leaving his family for two years searching for better prospects. When the family with three small children moved to Quito, they joined the Working Boys’ Center, because they could not afford to send all their children to the public schools. They have been loyal and productive members of the Center ever since. Richard’s father learned plumbing at the Center, and his mother is director of the resources center at the Center’s grade school. They are both delighted at the opportunity Richard has to become an engineer.