Peruvian Hearts

Peruvian Hearts works to end poverty and gender inequality by educating young women and creating community leaders in Peru-one girl at a time. We enable young women to embrace education, believe in their own power, and dream of a life beyond the conditions into which they were born. Peruvian Hearts provides powerful combination of education, empowerment classes, and service to nurture leadership in our scholars. The girls work hard every day as they fight to create new opportunities for themselves and their families. Because of their work individually and together they believe in themselves and their dreams and their ability to change their own lives and the world in which they live.

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Peruvian Hearts Scholars Program




Female Children ( 5 - 14 years)
Female Young Adults (20 - 25 years)
Female Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use
Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)


Peruvian Hearts Scholars Program works to educate and empower young women and enable them to reach their full potential. We combine enhanced educational opportunities along with mentorship and participation in service and structured empowerment classes to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to for these young women to rise up and break the cycle of poverty.

Right now an estimated sixty-six million girls around the globe dream of going to school (EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2012). In rural Peru only 36% of girls graduate from secondary school. In Peruvian Hearts, 100% of the young women who we support not only graduate from secondary school, but also continue their education at the post-secondary level in vocational institutes, colleges, and universities.

In order to ensure the best chance of success for our scholars, we provide our scholars with:

Complete financial scholarships for secondary school and college tuition in addition to room and board
A peer group that shows loving support and has shared values
A full-time program psychologist
Structured empowerment classes and opportunities
Positive reinforcement to celebrates school engagement and achievement
Regular mentorship and guidance from a psychologist and other professionals.
Opportunities to participate in leadership and service throughout the community.
Opportunities for higher education through visits to local universities and enrollment in pre-university academies.
Family support to increase overall support and communication.

Peruvian Hearts scholars dream of being professionals such as, lawyers, doctors, nurses, chefs, accountants, archeologists and hotel managers and tourism specialists. Day after day, this inspirational group of young scholars continues to mature and grow stronger. Each girl continues to transform her life as she fulfills her dream to become a professional. Every young woman in Peruvian Hearts believes in herself and the power of her education and that it is her education that will ultimately be the key to a brighter future for herself and an improved quality of life for her entire family.

Selection Process

Girls are selected to be in the program based on the following criteria:

She is between the approximate ages of 13-25
She demonstrates academic strength and drive
She and her family have great financial need
Displays values of honesty, ambition, compassion, and kindness
She shows leadership qualities and has a strong desire to give back to the community
Her family commits to support her education

Peruvian Hearts Leadership: Three Key Aspects

Peruvian Hearts aims to unlock the potential of young women through the power of education, mentorship, and service to others, and to enable them to become leaders of their families, communities, and country. The program increases the leadership potential in rural Peruvian girls through improved educational opportunities, development of their personal empowerment, and growing their understanding of goals through organizing service projects.

Peruvian Hearts scholars receive full financial support for their secondary-school education. After graduating from secondary school, each young woman has the opportunity to attend a pre-university academy to prepare for her college entrance exam. Once a girl has been accepted into a college or university, she is awarded a complete educational scholarship to support her post-secondary schooling and is also eligible to receive full support for her room and board. Read more about sponsoring a Peruvian Hearts scholar.

Mentorship & Service

Local professional women volunteer as mentors to help provide guidance and inspiration to the young women in Peruvian Hearts. Each mentor is an influential role model for the girls and exemplifies how through hard work, patience, and perseverance, a woman can succeed in following her dreams and transforming her future. The young women in Peruvian Hearts participate independently and collaboratively in various service projects around Cusco and the surrounding communities from which they come.

The Peruvian Hearts scholars meet regularly to develop their self-confidence and abilities associated with self-empowerment. They also host Peruvian Hearts' annual Women's Empowerment Conference in Cusco for girls in secondary school and college and gain meaningful leadership skills through experiential education. The young women in Peruvian Hearts also participate in annual leadership workshops which emphasize leadership through cultural identity, self-empowerment and individuality, service, and collaboration. Our girls create and execute community service projects with support from mentors and in conjunction with local NGO's.


Evidence of Program's Success

Currently 32 of 40 girls in the program are enrolled in post-secondary schools such as universities, colleges, and technical institutes.

This year PH graduated its first PH Scholars form university including degrees in medicine, accounting, and gastronomy. Next year even more PH scholars will graduate from university and they too will be the first of their families to graduate from any sort of post-secondary institution.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.