Paola & Priscilla Fuentes

Sisters Paola and Priscilla Fuentes each knew from an early age what they wanted to do when they grew up.

Paola explains:

Growing up in Nicaragua, I saw a lot of inequality and was intrigued to learn more about why that inequality existed, how it had come to be and what I could do to change that sad reality.”

Priscilla shares her own passion: 

Since I was six years old, I wanted to be a teacher. My first students were my stuffed animals and my loving mother, who was usually the troublemaker. I dreamed of the day when I would have a class of my own.”

They grew up among Bible dictionaries and theology books since their parents studied in the girls’ younger years to become a pastor (dad) and a Christian educator (mom). The family has been in Nicaragua ever since. They started by training pastors and youth leaders. Their mission has evolved into training Latin Americans to go out and become missionaries.

Both Paola and Priscilla say they’ve been shaped greatly by their parents’ work, which is why they wanted to continue a Christian education in college. Their schooling at Calvin College hinged on scholarships—one in particular from the Christian Missionary Scholarship Foundation.

I remember the night that I was filling out the application for Calvin, and we had to write down how much money my parents could pay,” Paola reflects. “My mom and I started crying when we realized the amount of money we still needed to find for me to attend Calvin. However, God had a plan for my education, and he made his provision for my life very evident by leading me to apply for scholarships like the Christian Missionary Scholarship that made it possible for me to attend Calvin.”
Waiting for the response was the most difficult part,” agrees Priscilla, “for if the scholarship was denied, then I would not be able to go to college. I had done my part in applying and now it was up to God. God was graceful and I was given the scholarship. This scholarship became God’s answer to our prayers.”

Paola paved the way at Calvin and her sister, Priscilla, followed closely behind. Their shared goal was to deepen their faith and live out their callings.

Paola graduated in 2014 from Calvin with a major in international development studies. She currently works for the Christian Reformed Church as a policy analyst and advocacy fellow. She hopes to further her education in the field of advocacy and macro development. She and her fiancé plan to serve God by helping the marginalized together.

As for Priscilla, she is a sophomore at Calvin, studying to become an educator. A childhood learning disability of her own has given her a heart to return to Latin America and remind other kids with similar diagnoses that they are a gift—a lesson her teachers engrained in her growing up.