Central American Theological Seminary, Recipient

In Central America, custom printed pencils are making a difference in how Guatemalan children view their schoolwork and their potential. It’s all thanks to Central American Theological Seminary (SETECA, the acronym for the Spanish name of the organization). The school is affiliated with Camino Global, a mission-based organization in Dallas, Texas. It encourages seminary students to experience compassion-based ministries. For some of them, that meant the chance to help local schoolkids. “The idea was, in a small way, to let these kids know that they are special,” said Jean Sywulka, project coordinator for the Central American Theological Seminary in Guatemala City. The pencils are imprinted with a smiley face and the phrase, “Tú eres especial,” or “You Are Special.” For families living in poverty, a pencil is very practical and much appreciated gift. It also encourages children to do their homework, study hard and see their potential. As a recipient of a 4imprint® one by one® grant, SETECA was able to order custom printed pencils as their promotional products. “We have connections with several local projects that work with children in feeding programs, day care and after school help with homework. We are very grateful for the opportunity to give these kids pencils with the message that they are indeed special,” Sywulka said. The initiative is part of a multi-faceted outreach program that sends seminary students and graduates into a wide variety of service areas to address need. It’s real-world experience that continues their classroom work. “Some people have had ministries in prisons with gangs. They have had lots of different ministries with people on the street and ministries to single moms,” says Sywulka. “We want to be sure our students are exposed to these ministries and, as possible, have an opportunity to work in them. So they’re prepared to not only reach the people who come to them, but also have an awareness of how to address the needs of people in the community.”