Our SHE-CAN Scholar:

Dania Verbena

SHE-CAN Scholar: Dania Verbena

Dania Verbena grew up in Esquipulas, Chiquimula, and was raised by her single mother who works as an elementary school teacher. Dania loves learning and was awarded a full scholarship in high school for her academic excellence as well as First Place in Academic Achievement for her graduating class in Colegio San Benito. In 2016, she joined the U.S. Embassy Access Microscholarship Program, where she accomplished one of her childhood dreams: learning English and becoming an agent of change in her community. In 2018, she was selected to continue in the SEAL Teaching Program, and became an English teacher. Thanks to these programs, she was employed in 2019 as a BEAR Program Teacher and then promoted to an Auxiliary Teacher for the Access Program. This is something Dania feels really proud of because while she was a high school student, she could help support her family economically.

Over the years, Dania has engaged in numerous extracurricular activities, such as being a translator for visiting American doctors in Fundación Quique Cerón, a team member of Activistas Guatemala, a feminist collective, and most recently an organizer of community service projects focusing on women’s empowerment. In 2022, she developed the “Girls Also Matter” program to empower girls in a rural area of her community. Dania is a 2022 Fellow of Vital Voices Guatemala, and was awarded a grant of $500 to expand her program curriculum for Guatemalan girls to overcome limitations of poverty and lack of education.

Dania is also a representative of the “Youth Observatory,” sponsored by the Carter Center. As a team leader for Chiquimula, she is developing public audits, citizenship and youth involvement in political arenas. Dania takes pride in identifying the needs of her community – she finds purpose and fulfillment in finding solutions and empowering other young women to act as agents of change. Dania desires to eradicate stereotypes about women, and support women to believe they belong in places that have traditionally been limited to men.

SHE-CAN scholar Dania Verbena Rhodes College

Academic Major

Class of 2027

Mentor Team

Kimberly Wirtz, Manager, Kimberly MW Properties
Robin Bradley
Sue Farmer
Ibis Schlesinger, President, GG2U & Associates, LLC
Katharine Kates, Attorney, Ramsey & Ehrlich, LLC