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Santa Catarina, Nuevo León, México

Planning for the Future During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic affected students of YouthBuild México Jóvenes con Rumbo (JcR) who, due to their economic and living conditions, did not have the resources to buy a computer or have internet connection at home. This was the case of Johan Reyna, from Santa Catarina, Nuevo León, Mexico, who faced many challenges to stay in the program.

Johan is 19 years old and, before joining the JcR program, he faced many difficulties and made unhealthy choices


For Johan, entering the JcR program was an incredible second chance. It provided him with technical training, a monthly stipend, and the possibility to complete high school, while having the support to look for decent work. It was the opportunity he needed.


However, when the pandemic started, Johan faced new difficulties. His participation in the JcR program from home was complicated, as there were fights and constant discussions at home; he had a poor internet connection and barriers to full digital participation. This new situation caused him headaches, stress, and anxiety. However, he knew the JcR program was a unique experience to put his life back on track, and he was able to stay motivated. As Johan observed, “The challenges that life puts in your path are just evidence to know what your limit is.”


JcR provided Johan with appropriate computer equipment so he could work from home. As part of his JcR pathway, he continued his training in programming. Being a computer programmer had always been his dream as he likes applications, video games, and websites. Now, he has a chance to start his own business.


Currently, Johan is very happy with everything he achieved in the JcR program because he completed high school and has plans for the future. JcR helped him know himself, know how to recognize his mistakes, have high expectations, and understand that he can achieve his goals if he puts in effort and dedication.

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