I met Carmen Alicia Rozo for the first time about eight years ago. She came opening day of our first Help and Hope Center in Rubio, Venezuela. What struck me was her vivaciousness and energy. She was from Villa Bahareque, a community made up of poor Venezuelans and Colombian refugees. The tradition among women in her family was to clean and sell garlic in the open market. Carmen Alicia worked by her mother’s side, and it seemed that it was her destiny to continue the tradition.
Imagine my surprise when I asked Carmen what she planned to do when she grew up, and she immediately told me she wanted to be a television reporter! Quite audacious for a poor girl, I thought … yet she seemed to have natural talent in this area. Andean Aid was just in the planning stages of providing Christian radio programming for children, teens and young adults through a local station, and we decided to invest in Carmen’s future by providing for her training in radio announcing. It paid off immensely as she became our lead on air-talent and eventually a producer of programming.
This year, Carmen Alicia will graduate from a large university with a degree in marketing and advertising. She is currently serving an internship at UPEL University in Rubio, managing the communications for post-graduate programs. After her internship, all indications are that she will be offered this role as a full-time position, and she also wants to join Andean Aid in providing opportunities for other children to escape a life of poverty.
Quite a transformation from selling garlic! Andean Aid is proud to have been alongside Carmen every step of the way.
WATCH CARMEN TELL HER STORY IN HER OWN WORDS.