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At Columbus Laser & Cataract Center, our goal has always been to improve the lives of others. Whether through specialized eye surgery or charitable giving, we aim to make a difference. One organization that we are proud to support is Empowering the Next, a non-profit that serves at-risk youth in Guatemala. We’ve gathered what you need to know about this organization and how you can get involved!

 

About Empowering the Next

 

Founded by Ohio natives Gavin and Brittany Dozier, Empowering the Next provides support, educational programs, mentorship, and scholarships for at-risk youth in rural areas of Guatemala. Since first arriving in Guatemala in 2010, Gavin has witnessed firsthand the many struggles that rural youths face. In response, he and his wife, Brittany, founded their non-profit last year, offering support, hope, and a better future to the young people they serve.

 

Dr. Beran and Gavin have known each other for around two decades. And when the opportunity arose to support this important cause, Dr. Beran, Dr. Weber, and the rest of the team at Columbus Laser & Cataract Center were eager to make a difference. We know that education is a gateway to a world of possibility, which is why we are proud to contribute monthly to Empowering the Next’s scholarship fund.

 

For many at-risk youths in Guatemala, receiving an education is not possible due to barriers like poverty. While only 40% of rural students complete 9 th grade, fewer than 30% of indigenous girls in rural areas attend secondary school. The scholarship program by Empowering the Next supports young students as they study, offering them the personal, academic, and financial resources they deserve. Through education, generations of young people are empowered to transform, change, and grow their communities. And with scholarships, students are given the tools to succeed.

 

One of the students who receives a scholarship from Empowering the Next is a girl named Katerin Ico. She is an indigenous Mayan and a first-generation college student. Despite having to walk two hours to and from school as a child, Katerin persevered in her studies. Embodying discipline and drive, she now proudly attends university. Each month, she receives $70 — an amount that covers her tuition and transportation. We are so proud of Katerin and her accomplishments. Today, her future looks brighter than ever!

 

Get Involved

 

To learn more about Empowering the Next, their mission, and the young people they serve, click here to visit their website. https://www.empoweringthenext.org

Every child deserves the opportunity to improve his or her life. If you are ready to help make a difference for young people like Katerin, consider donating—every contribution helps set up students for a lifetime of success.