Sonya’s love for Guatemala started 16 years ago when she adopted her son.
“It was love at first sight. I knew he was my son when I set eyes on him,” says Sonya M. Fultz, M.Ed., Senior Director for Enrollment and Academic Partnerships at UI&U.
Since then she has led Guatemala adoptive families on Return to Guatemala trips, aiding them in connecting with their children’s birth country.
President of ALDEA
She also serves as president of ALDEA: Advancing Local Development through Empowerment and Action in Guatemala. ALDEA addresses the principal needs of rural, indigenous Guatemalans to strengthen communities and enhance the health and well-being of families. They work in predominantly Mayan communities in the Department of Chimaltenango in Guatemala.
Sonya was initially drawn to this organization’s vision for community empowerment and long-term sustainability. “I’m proud of how our work has evolved in recent years as we’ve learned together through experience and responded to the changing needs of our Mayan partners.
Right now, our commitment to locally led development and continued growth is taking us in exciting new directions. In response to community feedback during last year’s strategic planning process, our partners at ABPD have successfully engaged men in a new pilot program designed to complement our women’s empowerment work. They’re focusing more on addressing domestic violence. And, we have recently installed our first solar-powered potable water system!”
ALDEA is working with Information Matrix, a television program hosted by film star Laurence Fishburne, on a short-form documentary about ALDEA. It will air on public television stations nationwide along with a commercial.
“This is an amazing opportunity for us to raise awareness about issues in Guatemala and our approach to grassroots development.”
Sonya is a world changer and a representative of Union’s mission to transform lives and communities.
About Sonya M. Fultz
Sonya is the Senior Director for Academic Partnerships at Union Institute & University. She formerly served as chair of the Southwestern Council for Higher Education (SOCHE) Articulation and Transfer Committee. She also taught and served as Chair of Undergraduate Studies at Antioch University Midwest in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She has trained the Ministry of Education in Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago in Comprehensive School Conflict Management and is focused on classroom management and conflict studies. Her interest in Guatemala originated with her Guatemalan-born son. She has led Guatemala adoptive families on Return to Guatemala trips for the last 13 years, aiding them in connecting with their children’s birth country.
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