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Luceli's story: From sponsored child to young entrepreneur

Luceli is a former sponsored child who has been cooking up some pretty incredible things in El Salvador .

"I am starting my bakery business, thanks to Plan," she says with pride.

Luceli was just 6 years old when she was first sponsored by a Canadian donor, helping her to gain access to resources like an education, which has forever changed her life.

"I was sponsored until I was 18 years of age. After that, with the help of a Plan scholarship, I finished high school."

Now, at the age of 22, she continues to see the benefits of Plan programs.

"One day, someone told me that Plan was giving some courses. I was curious, so I went and signed up for a course on gastronomy [cooking]. Now, thanks to them, I am starting my own business."

Running a business is a huge accomplishment. It takes a lot of perseverance and dedication - especially for youth growing up in a developing country, where the cards are often stacked against them. In El Salvador, issues like the scarcity of resources contribute to 30% of the population living below the poverty line and create a cycle of poverty that is difficult to break (World Bank).

Despite these challenges, and thanks to the generosity of her sponsor and her determination to succeed, Luceli's business is building momentum - and she is just getting started!

Making big Plans
Luceli cooks with her family.

Luceli's business - propelled by her sponsorship, education and newly developed skills - has given her family new hope. "The business is not just me - my whole family is contributing and we are sure that this way, it will continue to grow."

"I plan to grow the business little by little, with the help they gave me with the materials I needed to get started," she says, referring to the Plan-led training initiative. But Luceli won't stop there. She yearns to ensure that her profits will also support her family's collective growth.

"If I can, I would also like to take a course in English so that my business can grow and be able to help my family with some of their daily expenses, especially the costs for studies for my younger brothers," she says, adding, "it is my dream that my brothers continue studying."

Luceli is driven to also positively impact her neighbours. She has set her sights on providing those around her with access to new food sources, affordable goods and increased learning and employment opportunities.

"In our community bread comes from far away and is more expensive, so I plan to put a price on my products that people can afford to pay," she explains. "I also think my little business will create some jobs for a few young people who want to learn how to make bread."

Collectively, these inclusive and proactive efforts can contribute to improving the local market and lifting her entire community out of poverty, sparking a new cycle of progress .

Luceli with croissants.

Luceli proudly displays her soon-to-be-baked goods!

Baking up brighter futures

Looking forward, Luceli is hopeful and envisions a promising future. She feels confident that, if given the chance, her generation can create great change.

"I think that all young people can do good things and achieve their goals if they work hard and persist," she explains.

Additionally, Luceli remains committed to helping make this movement possible. "I can visualize my business growing, and selling to more stores, with more young people working," she says.

In the meantime, like any great businessperson, Luceli plans to help make her dreams a reality by staying focused. Knowing that even simple acts can have meaningful impact, she helps make others' days just a little easier and brighter, one baked good at a time.

"I want to have my own bakery because I want to sell coffee and freshly baked bread that people enjoy. Everything made fresh tastes better."

For about $1 a day, you can improve the life of a child, their family and their community, helping them reach their full potential.

Read more about the power of Child Sponsorship: