I want to do many things in my future. I have always been an honor roll student, even when times are hard, because I want to do everything: I want to study architecture, I want to paint, and I want to learn many languages. My goal for myself is to keep getting the highest grades and to also make friends.

Thank you for your trust in me.

Paola from Nicaragua, Age 8, October 2021

Education is the best way out of poverty – but for some, it’s unattainable without help.

Did you know that the majority of children in garbage dump communities will drop out of school before they reach the 7th grade? This is not something that they do by choice: the students and former students that we’ve talked to have told us how desperately they want to learn. But these kids have to leave school to work in the dumpsites alongside their parents, care for younger siblings or ailing relatives, or even have to leave school simply because tuition fees or the cost of getting to school is too high. Many children sacrifice their chance to go to school to encourage a younger sibling to stay in school as well, getting a job and using their earnings to help their siblings do what they couldn’t.

We don’t think that this is an acceptable reality. Children with the desire to learn should have the opportunity to do so. That’s why International Samaritan created the Paso a Paso scholarship program. For the last decade, we have been providing student support aimed at removing all barriers between students and staying in school, not just paying tuition fees. Our scholarships start at the early childhood level and go through college and trade school. 

816 SCHOLARS around the world

816 scholars are currently being supported through our Paso a Paso scholarship program. Our scholarships are not only academic: they cover clothing, materials, and transportation, as well as feed the scholar’s entire family so the scholar doesn’t feel pressured to leave school to work. We have also put the majority of our grade-school scholars into private school and connect them with personal mentoring and strengths development, giving them the best education possible. Our scholarships follow students from as early as pre-kindergarten through college or trade school.

247 Scholars

in Ethiopia

137 Scholars


142 Scholars


75 Scholars


215 Scholars


By Hannah Wickham
By Hannah Wickham
By Hannah Wickham

Teddy’s scholarship story.

Teddy was an unusual applicant for us: unlike most IntSam scholars who join our program while still in school, Teddy came to us with a single request… a car and a certification. Teddy had already given up on school at that point, dropping out of school despite his great test scores because his mother and sister needed his support. 

We helped Teddy get his licensing and he’s now thriving. Our president, Mike Tenbusch, visited him in 2019 and Teddy showed off his stomach. 

“For the first time, I have a full belly,” he shared.

See our impact in real time by subscribing to our Impact Stories.

About Us

International Samaritan is a nonprofit organization with the designation 501(c)(3). Our headquarters is located in Ann Arbor Michigan.


(734) 222-0701

803 N Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

M-F: 9am-5pm, S-S: Closed

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