Eight-year-old Emmanuel Pinto does not have an ounce of quit in him. His teachers say, “He has energy to spare.” He loves to write poetry and race over soccer fields. Like most kids his age, he dreams big. But like many kids in Colon, one of the poorest regions in Panama, Emmanuel had been facing an unjust and painful choice: work to ensure survival now or seek a chance to find greater opportunities in the future. With no food at home, no safe space for schooling and no one else to watch
over him while his mother worked, Emmanuel had little choice but to accompany his mother and help her sell fruit on the streets of a dangerous neighborhood. But one day, things changed. Through a project called EducaFuturo, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Emmanuel and others like him are now being given a space to grow and learn, so that they can be the leaders who make a better tomorrow in their communities.