Meet the Women of Our First Graduating Class!

10 March 8, 2016 - Empowerment, Personal Development, Young Living Academy, Young Living Events, Young Living Foundation, Young Living Lifestyle

mary and gary with gradThis International Women’s Day, the Young Living Foundation is thrilled to recognize the five young women who will be the first to graduate with their high school diplomas from the Young Living Academy in Chongon, Ecuador on March 9.

We’re beyond proud of these ladies, and we want to brag about what that they’ve accomplished. Meet these five remarkable graduates!

  • Lady Thalia Lopez Delgado
  • Ivany Joselyn Mateo Santana
  • Melanie Nicole Méndez León
  • Olinda Maritza Roldán Benitez
  • Dayanna Katherine Santana Touriz

walking gradsWith a total of 12 students graduating from the academy, the class of 2016 boasts a 100 percent graduation rate. That’s impressive in any school, but it’s especially striking given that the local average was less than 20 percent when the academy opened its doors in 2009. More exciting still, each of these seniors is soon to become a university freshman. And we wouldn’t miss celebrating with them for the world! Staff from Young Living and the foundation, as well as 30 Young Living members, has traveled to Ecuador to attend the ceremony and to join in service projects.

The Young Living Academy, the breathtaking Young Living farm just down the road, and the small town of Chongon hold a special place in the history of Young Living. It was in this small rural town where the Young Living Foundation (formerly the D. Gary Young Foundation) was established and the Sponsor a Child program was born.

Anyone who knows founder D. Gary and CEO Mary Young knows that they’re motivated by a single passion more than anything else: a passion to serve and empower individuals far beyond their circumstances. After noticing that Chongon could use some help with education, Gary and Mary built the academy from the ground up. While the academy wasn’t initially built for it, it held 83 students during its first year. Mary recalls, “We could not believe how many more people showed up begging for us to admit them. What was I going to do? Of course we would admit them.”

The Young Living Academy has kept growing and expanding since then, now educating nearly 300 students grades K–12. The academy offers high-quality education for local children and jobs for some of the greatest teachers in the country.

In large part, it’s the work of the incredible teachers and staff at the Young Living Academy that has made this year’s graduation possible. They work tirelessly to serve students, cultivate critical thinking, and foster leadership. Most of all, they recognize the power of one individual, armed with the correct tools, to change the world. Investing in a child’s education can cause ripples in all directions. It can help them gain better employment and achieve better economic security, which in turn creates a stronger economy overall. These students one day will be able to pass along their education and values to their children.

These long-term effects are why we’re so proud of the young women of the 2016 graduating class. Armed with education and a passion for empowering others, these high-achieving graduates will be able to create incredible impact in their communities, while avoiding the poverty that may otherwise have been their future. Their education provides them with the tools necessary to become self-sufficient and contribute to, shape, and lead their communities.

all grads 2016

We’re so proud of the class of 2016! Post your congratulations in the comments!

  • Barbara Barker, Kingston, MA

    I am proud of YOU and the Young Living Foundation for making this possible!


    The future is yours! So proud of you and don’t let anyone steal your sparkle!!!

  • Patricia Kendrick, Minneapolis MN

    Congratulations ladies,
    You have worked hard to achieve your goals, continue on with renewed strength and confidence that your next goals in life will be achieved as well. The world is wide open and waiting for you to share what you have learned and for you to learn what others share. Enjoy.

  • Rosemary Douglas

    way to go! congratulations on you hard work of learning

  • Jennifer Brunnbauer

    When you know better, you do better! Congratulations and wishes for blessings in a abundance for each of you.

  • Ute Levesque

    Congratulations! The knowledge you gained through your education is yours forever. No one can ever take it from you! Good luck as you go to University to further that knowledge. Let your light shine!!!

    • You cannot go wrong! Education is for a lifetime. Continue in your pursuits and give it your passion. You will succeed.


    These aren’t even MY kids and I’m so proud of this effort and fanfare around their accomplishments. Young Living is doing good across the globe and I’m part of it!

  • Congratulations ladies!! The world is yours!!!

  • Deborah Alexander

    Congratulations to these young women. We are so proud of you! Go now and make a difference in your world!

  • Jesse Hodgdon

    I remember being at the farm in Ecuador when the children were attending classes in their original school. I am proud to be part of company that has brought such assistance and hope to so many folks from students at the new school to parents working at the farm. Personal and familial confidence has risen as well as their standard of living. Children and parents alike are learning about nutrition and the value of pure Young Living Essential Oils. It is my intention to attend next year’s graduation ceremony. Thank you Gary and Mary and all Young Living distributors for a huge success story!

  • Congratulations to these ladies and to the team that supported them in reaching this accomplishment!

    • Stephanie Dickinson

      Blessings to these beautiful, young girls, also – may they continue to grow in knowledge and faith – to become fine leaders in their communities and beyond!

  • Donna Long

    Congratulations ladies, and gentlemen of this year’s graduating class. You are all setting a wonderful example for those children coming in behind you! May you be Blessed in all you do in life! My Love and Blessings to All at the school.

  • Molly Brose

    Congratulations ladies – way to go!

  • Georgia Watson

    Congratulations to each of you on your graduation! Wishing you the best as you move forward in the next step to whatever your future holds!

  • A. Blazek

    Well done. May you rejoice in your accomplishment and use it as the foundation to build a life worth living.

  • Kathleen Bailey

    Congratulations Ladies!!! So proud of you! Go forth and change the world!

  • Carol Stribula

    Congratulations to all on your high school graduations today!

  • Mary F

    Congratulations – so proud of you all! You have worked hard!

    Much love to you <3

  • Maurna Williams


  • Tania

    Congratulations class of 2016. All the best for the future.

  • Congratulations to each of you! My heart is warmed with memories of visiting the academy in November 2014 during the Young Living Leadership experience! May you continue your success!

    Sally Vansickle, Bay City MI

* Please note that all comments are moderated and won't appear immediately. Additionally, some posts may be slightly modified or deleted to maintain compliance with Young Living's Policies and Procedures and federal regulations. To ensure your comments are compliant, please refer to the Suggested Product Claims document.