Scholarship Program

We offer a full scholarship to a graduating female student of the Diria Institute to go to university. The scholarship is for $5000 US and covers their 5-year undergraduate degree including tuition, transportation, books and lunches. Students at The Study are responsible to raise the funds needed to send these girls to school and to choose the recipient of the yearly scholarship award. A qualitative and quantitative approach is taken on 3 categories: grades, community service and degree of poverty. The applicants submit a written application and answer specific questions, which are then read by the student selection committee.


We are very proud to say that since the inception of the scholarship program, we have had fifteen graduates and we are currently supporting  12 students to go to school.

15 have graduated

  • 5 Medical Doctors (Maria Gabriela, Valeria, Belkis, Ashley, Angela)
  • 1 Dentist (Jilmara)
  • 2 Nurse Practitioners (Geysel, Estefania)
  • 1 Economist (Bernarda)
  • 1 Accountant (Cindy)
  • 1 Finance (Candelaria)
  • 1 Nutritionist (Maria Jose)
  • 1 Psychologist (Ethel)
  • 1 Surgical Technician (Jennifer)
  • 1 Nursing Technician (Shirley)

12 are current university students

  • 3 in Medicine (Samanta, Emely, Maria)
  • 2 in Engineering (Francis, Maria Celeste)
  • 1 in Law (Emely)
  • 1 in Nursing (Cinthya)
  • 1 in Teaching (Esmeralda)
  • 2 in English (Reidun, Cindy)
  • 1 in Finance (Karla)
  • 1 in Agricultural Engineering (Francesca)

Our Graduates

2010 Scholarship Recipients

Bernarda (Economics)

Graduated in 2015 as the top student in her graduating class. She served as a teaching assistant for 5 different courses.

The first in her family to obtain a university degree.

Works at the largest private hospital in Nicaragua.

100_0259Maria Gabriella (Medicine)

Among the top 5 graduating students in her class.

The first in her family to obtain a university degree.

Finishing her residency in March 2018.

Received her diploma as a doctor in June 2018.

Eventually wants to do a sub-specialization in paediatric oncology.

Conducted 2 years of mandatory medical service in a public or rural hospital

Finished her Pediatrics Residency at the main pediatric hospital in Managua.

Now working as a Pediatrician full-time

 2011 Scholarship Recipient


Cindy (Banking and Finance)

Obtained one of the highest grades for her undergraduate thesis.

The first in her family to obtain a university degree.

Obtained one of the highest grades for her Undergraduate Thesis (92%)

After a rigorous selection process, was the only candidate out of 18 to have been hired as a credit analyst by the largest network of micro finance banks in Nicaragua.

2012 Scholarship Recipient


Geysel (Nursing)

Earned the University’s research award for her thesis: Preventative Health Services in Sex Workers in Nicaragua.

The first in her family to obtain a university degree.

While waiting for her license to come in, she took an additional course in “Dialysis and Hemodialysis”.

Hired by the newest public hospital in Nicaragua, where she is working in Maternal-Infant Health.

2013 Scholarship Recipient


Maria Jose (Nutrition)

The first in her family to obtain a university degree.

She was selected among the top students in her program to do advanced clinical work as a nutritionist in hospitals across Managua.

Worked with Pan-American Health Organization

2015 Scholarship Recipient


Valeria (Medicine)

Graduating with top grades in Medicine

Finished her internship at the hospital in Granada

Currently performing 2 years of mandatory medical service in a rural area of Nicaragua where there are no doctors, about 3 hours away from Diriá

Wants to specialize in Internal Medicine

2016 Scholarship Recipients


Candelaria (Banking and Finance)

Comes from one of the poorest families in Diriá

Her parents work in the fields and have unstable income, making it very hard to support their 5 children

Aspires to become an Investigative Auditor to tackle corruption

Ethel (Psychology)

Finished her Thesis Research on students at the Diriá Institute High School to gain data on different learning styles

Will pursue a career as an educational psychologist, and wants to work in the public school system to help struggling students

2017 Scholarship Recipients


Belkis (Medicine)

Participated in vaccine brigades, going to low-income areas to vaccinate children and adults

Volunteers at the Diria health clinic, which is the main public clinic that serves her village

Graduated with top marks

Her group earned second place at a university-wide healthcare administration competition

Interested in specializing in gynecology. She is currently doing her 2 years of social service in remote areas of Nicaragua.

Estefania Canales (Nursing)


Top Nursing student and Class President of her Nursing Class

Specialized in the Maternal-Infant Health track

From Los Jirones, a remote village about 40 minutes from Diria, with no medical professionals

Started her first job as a fully registered nurse at the Vivian Pellas Hospital (the main private hospital in Managua).

She is the primary breadwinner to support her mother and two younger sisters, as her father passed away in an accident 2 years ago. She is hoping to help her sister attend university.

2018 Scholarship Recipient


Ashley Mendoza Delgado (Medicine)

Involved in medical brigades at the university on many health issues, including: COVID-19, HIV, cervical cancer, breast cancer, mosquito-transmitted diseases

She is currently performing 2 years of social service in remote areas of Nicaragua.

Will be starting her internship year and then pursuing residency in a surgical field (Obstetrics or Orthopedics)

Wishes to start her own clinic in Diriá after residency to provide medical care to the town

2019 Scholarship Recipients


Shirley Cardenas (Nursing Technician)

She and her twin sister pursued 1.5-year technical degrees due to their family’s dire financial situation (single mother, no other income)

Will now enter the workforce as a Nursing Technician to help support her family

(Shirley (third from left) on her graduation day.)

Jennifer Cardenas (Surgical Technician)

She and her twin sister pursued 1.5-year technical degrees due to their family’s dire financial situation (single mother, no other income)

Will now enter the workforce as a Nursing Technician to help support her family


(Jennifer conducting community service at the Diria Institute High School)

2019 Scholarship Recipient

Angela Dominguez (Medicine)

Comes from Palo Quemado, a small town that is very rural (about 1 hour from Diriá), where there are no medical professionals.

She will be the first resident/local doctor for her community. Angela graduated in 2023, and is now starting her 2 years of mandatory social service (rural medicine) before specializing. Angela wants to pursue a career in Pediatrics.


From Angela:
“This year, I started my full-time rotations in the hospital, completing hospital shifts. I met many of my goals this year. First, I improved at reading cardiac EKGs, where I now feel comfortable interpreting and EKG and identifying the heart diseases that patients may present with. Second, I learned how to perform pap smears and I was able to perform many. Third, this year I learned how to interpret lab values from blood tests ordered in the hospital, so that I can now identify if someone has anemia, for example.” 2023


2019 Scholarship Recipient

Jilmara Herrera (Dentistry)

Each year there are only 10 spots in Dentistry at the National University, and she earned one

Her team developed a low-cost air compressor for dentists, made of recycled materials, that won at the University-wide research fair in the Biophysics category.

Jilmara graduated in 2023. Her thesis was on dental care in high schools. She started her first job at a dental practice.



From Jilmara:
“I had many excellent experiences this year. First, I became more experienced at molar extractions, such as a complex patient I had where we had to cut the tooth in multiple pieces to extract the roots that had become implanted into the jawbone. I was able to perform the procedure successfully and the patient went home. Second, I had a patient who needed a dental restauration, and I took the xrays of their teeth on my own, applied anesthesia, and repaired their tooth cavity before applying a new resin to restore the tooth. Three days later, I spoke with the patient and she told me everything in her recovery had gone smoothly, and thanked me for the care I had provided. Third, I have now mastered the technique for making models of my patients’ teeth when they need dental prostheses, and it is something I enjoy more and more each time.” 2023


Currently Attending University

2020 Scholarship Recipient

Francis Rivas (Computer Science Engineering)

First time a female student in Diria pursues a Computer Science degree at the University level

One of 5 female computer science students in her year at the university

Learned programming in multiple languages (Python, C++, Java)


From Francis:
“This year, we had a computer science lab class. They asked us to fix a keyboard and to take apart a computer, which was exciting and also scary since it was our first time taking these apart. They gave us the tools and we followed our professor. It was a challenging procedure since the inside of the computer is quite complex. We had to identify why the keyboard and the computer was failing. Then we had to assemble everything back together. It was a very nice experience because we got to see a practical side to what we had previously learned in theory.” 2023


2020 Scholarship Recipient

Maria Celeste Rivera (Civil Engineering)

Won the Diria High School-level, municipality-level, and regional-level “Best Student Competition” in 2019

Studying lots of math courses: statistics, calculus, among others. She had an internship in re-building the main highway that connects Diriá to Managua (the capital) and Granada.



From Maria Celeste:
“This year, I was able to work directly with the engineers overseeing the expansion of the highway through Diriá, as part of my practical coursework at the university. I was working in the geology laboratory of the supervising engineers to test the resistance of the cement we were using, and I learned a lot about quality control. It was through this new experience that I was able to use all my theoretical knowledge about construction norms and laws. I learned a great sense of responsibility and the problem-solving that a Civil Engineer must have, learning to take decisions under pressure.” 2023


2021 Scholarship Recipient

Samanta Pastora (Medicine)

Working at Diriá’s local health clinic to help with blood draws, pap smears, and other medical concerns

Volunteered with dengue prevention campaigns in Diriá

Actively involved with the local health clinic, working with the urgent care services in Diriá




From Samanta:
“I learned how to interact with and understand better what my patients need. I learned how systematic and complex our bodies are, and how different diseases are caused. Knowing this, I learned how medications work and the effects they have on our bodies.” 2023


2021 Scholarship Recipient

Esmeralda Jiron (Teaching/Pedagogy)

Studying to become a teacher through the Pedagogy Program

Completed her second year

Completed her internship/stage this year where she worked full-time at a school during the week.




From Esmeralda:
“In my second year, I was able to learn to develop lesson plans from senior teachers, learning from their own experiences and data. In my Education Administration class, I also learned about the work involved in running a school. Finally, I also worked on an end-of-year project on sign language.” 2023


2022 Scholarship Recipient

Karla Salinas (Finaance)

Was elected Class President in her first semester

Learned Excel and new software for finance tools

From Karla:

“This was my first year at the university and there were many highlights. First, I was elected in my first semester as the Class Leader, thanks to my discipline and responsibility. Second, I learned online tools to develop flowsheets for accounting. Third, in my second semester, I learned how to evaluate a business model and learned tools on Excel that are important for my career.” 2023

2022 Scholarship Recipient

Emely Muñoz (Medicine)

Developed a project to use chocolate to deliver supplemental iron for individuals with anemia

Gained more experience in public speaking

Learning to work with and interview her patients


From Emely:

“This year, I was able to develop my abilities and my empathy, as well as using my knowledge to face new obstacles each day. At first, I was shy about presenting in front of my classmates and in front of doctors, but we supported each other and I grew more and more comfortable with public speaking. I also enjoyed working on a project I developed, where we made chocolate containing iron supplements to treat anemia.” 2023

2022 Scholarship Recipient

Reidun Delgado (English)

Learning English speaking, and written grammar

Has gained more confidence in traveling to the university and being an independent learner



From Reidun:
“English is one of the most important languages for professional and personal growth. Since I was 15, I have enjoyed learning this language and my goal is to be able to speak it fluently. This is an important language for earning employment and for learning about different cultures.” 2023

2023 Scholarship Recipient

Francesca Brava (Agricultural Engineering)

Achieving excellent results in her examinations

Will present her investigation project to the department





2023 Scholarship Recipient

Emely Valle (Law)

At the top of her class for academic performance

Aspires to provide legal services for low-income families





2023 Scholarship Recipient

Cinthya Franco (Nursing)

Participated in Literacy Campaigns, serving as a volunteer to teach others to read


Hopes to become a nurse in maternal-fetal care




2023 Scholarship Recipient

Cindy Franco (English)

Achieved excellent academic performance in her classes

Hopes to work in the cultural/tourism sector in the future





2024 Scholarship Recipient

Maria Alejandra Sandoval (Medicine)



First time that Diriá has 5 medical doctors who are locals

3 more students in the Program are currently studying Medicine – soon to be 8 doctors in the local community!

Only 2 spots in Medicine are awarded for the whole State of Granada each year

8 of our girls have taken a spot in Medicine in the last 13 years

First time that rural towns around Diriá have nurses who are locals

Our graduates in Psychology and Nutrition have conducted research at the Diriá Institute and have given workshops to students, giving back to their former high school

All Scholarship students do community service at the Diriá Institute