Ben Marie is a smart and strong woman who just graduated with her BS in Criminology from Negros Oriental Statue University in July of 2022. However, she, like many of our sponsored children, started out as a small, thin little girl whose family was struggling to get by and provide their basic needs. They could not afford her school uniforms and supplies for her education, and it was difficult just to put 3 meals on the table. Ben Marie did what she could to help her parents without complaint, but her future was uncertain at the time.

In 2007, when Ben Marie was just 7 years old, that’s when things began to change. Anna Lee Sneed began sponsoring Ben Marie. She was so happy to be sponsored and she was curious about how being a sponsored child would affect her future. Even at the young age of 7, Ben Marie understood the difficulties of poverty and how sponsorship could change that.

Anna Lee and Ben Marie began exchanging letters sharing about themselves. Slowly they began to get to know each other by receiving each other’s letters, pictures, packages, and more. Ben Marie always shared in her letters about her studies, achievements, and about her family. Despite the distance between the US and the Philippines, the two created a bond.

Ben Marie was an outstanding student all through Elementary and High School. She was an active member at LCP, joining the choir, praise team, sports, evangelism, and more. She was granted a college scholarship by Dwight and Lori Henderson and continued to perform well at LCP and in school. As a criminology student, she graduated as an Advanced Cadet Officer in Army ROTC and reached the rank of Major (S7) and is now a GMA/reservist (Sgt).

Anna Lee continued sponsoring Ben Marie and growing their bond throughout her education. Now that Ben Marie has graduated, Anna Lee’s time as her sponsor is coming to an end, but the relationship they share will live on forever. Ben Marie is a successful young woman, and we are confident she will be successful in her working life. Sponsorship, and the relationship that comes with it, changed both of their lives in a way that is so much greater than just $35 per month—it gave love, help, and hope to them both!