The following story was adapted from a final report submitted by the Peace Corps Volunteer who co-led the Developing Youth Leadership in Chongoyape Kids to Kids project.

"Diana is an inspiration to me. Last year, she was invited to participate in a youth leadership camp, but she could not attend. Three days before the camp, she had a doctor’s appointment and was told that, at 14 years old, she had a very serious medical condition. While her peers were away at a camp, Diana was in the hospital.

Diana comes from a very humble family, even by Peruvian standards and has never received an opportunity she didn’t earn. She had to spend the money she was saving for her higher education to pay for her medical costs. After her peers returned from camp last year and shared their experiences, Diana was not bitter. Rather, she jumped right back into work and took on more leadership roles. She continues to stand out. She is not outspoken, but her action and dedication to better herself and those around her is very impressive.

Thanks to the support of Kids to Kids, Diana was able to participate in Developing Youth Leadership in Chongoyape this year. She was able to meet other leaders like herself and to leave her hometown for the first time in her life. She loves to study the environment. In this project she was able to see private nature reserves, Spectacled Bears and other endangered species, the largest remaining equatorial dry forest in the world, ruins from a pre-Incan pyramid and, for the first time in her life, the ocean. She only lives an hour away but had never been given the opportunity to visit the coast. She told me that through this experience she has learned that the world has so much more to offer than she previously thought.”

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