Fighting for girls’ education from Guatemala to Burlingame: Q&A with MAIA Impact Club


Photo Courtesy of MAIA Impact Club Instagram

MAIA Impact Club members pictured at their weekly meeting in front of school.

Leilani Dougherty, Staff Reporter

MAIA Impact Club president Kylie Holzman is a senior at Burlingame and has run the club for two years. 


Q: What is the MAIA Impact Organization?

A: So the MAIA Impact School is an all-girls school in Guatemala. It’s run by mostly Indigenous women, and their whole goal is to provide high-quality education for girls in rural Guatemala. In Guatemala, if they do have access to education, it’s public education, which isn’t very good. And most girls drop out by the time they’re teenagers, so they focus on empowerment and getting girls mentorship and just helping them with their education.


Q: How does the club support the MAIA organization?

A: We mostly fundraise. We have done bake sales, we’ve asked for donations through emails, we have a GoFundMe page and we raise money to provide a scholarship to the school, which is $3,000 U.S. dollars. The scholarship covers tuition, transportation, paying mentors and compensating the family because the girls attend school instead of working — basically, everything that would be a barrier to a girl’s education, we paid for. In total, we’ve raised, I believe, $5,200.


Q: When was the club started?

A: It was started my sophomore year, so two years ago. I started it and recruited a board of friends initially, and as time has progressed, Alexis Wong has become vice president.


Q: What made you interested in the MAIA organization?

A: I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Guatemala the summer after my freshman year. My mom has a family friend who works closely with the school, and we got to go down with her. I was inspired by what they do down there, just their empowerment. I don’t know, it just seemed like a really good thing to do and I wanted to give back to them somehow.


Q: What do you have planned for next semester?
A: We are hoping to do a fundraiser with Rise Pizzeria or another kind of restaurant fundraiser. We’re also going to plan a hike — the girls at the school hike up a volcano, which symbolizes that if you can get to the top of this volcano and do this grueling hike, then you can get through your education — so we’re going to try to mirror that somehow.


Q: Can you still join the club?

A: Yes, of course. We meet Tuesdays at lunch at the front of the school, and we’re always welcoming new members.