Growing up, Yenson didn’t spend much time in school. He had no choice but to work so he could help provide for his family.

“My childhood was very difficult since I didn’t have decent food, proper clothes, or the possibility of attending school regularly,” he said. 

As Yenson continued to get older, he started to notice a problem in his community in the Dominican Republic: The health services in Algodón didn’t serve his family and neighbors well. He dreamed of becoming a doctor to help fix this but didn’t know where to start. 

“I had to work hard to help my mother since she was a single mother and I was the only boy she had at the time,” he said. 

Besides having to work to help his family, he spent most days with an empty stomach. 

But Yenson remembers that things started to change for him when he joined Children of the Nations in Algodón. He started going to Bible studies led by a staff member named Malu, or “Mamacita,” as she went by. When he got older he joined the GAP program to prepare for university, which helped him become fluent in English and develop other skills. 

Fast forward to today, and his childhood dream of being a doctor is becoming a reality! Yenson is studying at the Santiago University of Technology and is on track to graduate this year. 

“Since I was a child, I dreamed of being a doctor because I knew that being a doctor would make it possible for me to help the people in my community and also the people who needed my service,” he said. 

Yenson enjoys learning about human pathology and helping patients. He also says it makes him happy to be his mother’s doctor and help her when she needs it. 

“Once I started university, my life changed little by little. It has been a tremendous experience to be able to learn my degree and to improve my living conditions,” he says. 

Many children born into poverty have the barriers of hunger and family responsibilities standing in their way. But with the right tools and opportunities, Yenson has all he needs to chase after his dream and reach his full potential. 

Because of his focus and dedication, he is now a role model for other children growing up in Algodón. Thank you for being a part of his journey! 

“With the favor of God, I plan to help my community in all that is within my reach, especially related to medicine,” he says. “The greatest joy is serving my community and all my neighbors.”