Our SHE-CAN Scholar:

Dania Verbena

SHE-CAN Scholar: Dania Verbena

Seeking a Non-Profit or Social Justice Internship 

For a copy of Dania’s resume, please email Erika Wah in Community Building (ewah@shecan.global).

Dania Verbena is a first year student at Rhodes College studying International Studies and Latin American Studies. She is a representative of the “Youth Observatory” sponsored by the Carter Center. While in college in the US, Dania is continuing her work as a team leader for the city of Chiquimula in Guatemala, developing public audits, citizenship, and youth involvement in political arenas. 

Dania grew up in Esquipulas, a Guatemalan town near the Honduras and El Salvador borders, 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 at Colegio San Benito. 

Dania learned English through the U.S. Embassy Access Microscholarship Program in 2016 and became a translator for visiting American doctors Fundaciôn Quiqe Cerón for the next five years. She was selected for the SEAL Teaching Program (teaching English) and the SEAL Tourism Program (guiding tours). Dania also sought ways to become an agent of change in her community by becoming involved in the feminist collective, Activistas Guatemala and she organized community service projects focusing on women’s empowerment. 

In 2022, Dania developed the “Girls Also Matter” Program to empower girls in a rural area of her community. That year, she was honored as a Fellow of Vital Voices Guatemala and was awarded a grant of $500 to expand her program curriculum for Guatemalan girls to overcome the limitations of poverty and lack of education. Earlier this year, Dania received the National Young Leadership Award from Desafío Joven Guatemala, for her volunteer work in public advocacy during her high school years.

Dania takes great pride in her time spent teaching English because she could help support her family economically while she was a high school student. She also finds purpose and fulfillment in finding solutions and empowering other young women to act as agents of change. She would like to eradicate stereotypes about women and help women believe they belong in places that have traditionally been restricted to men. 

Dania wants to grow her knowledge about social issues and how to address them around the world, specifically in Guatemala, to provide better opportunities for its citizens, especially women.

Highlights From Dania’s Past Work Experience:

  • Student Assistant, Rhodes College International Programs
  • English Teacher, Liceo Esquipulteco Bilingual Program
  • Access Teacher Assistant & BEAR Assistant Coordinator, English Language Programs Guatemala — US Embassy and Coosajo R.L

Dean’s List GPA: 3.78 Languages Spoken: English and Spanish


Academic Major

International Studies and Latin American Studies; Minor: Computer Science
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