Spotlight on Sponsors - Judith Cucco

Judith Cucco

Judith Cucco lives in Hawaii where she is a citizen scientist who does fish and turtle species counts for a national non-profit foundation. She has also had careers as a teacher, international businesswoman and social worker.

I am retired, so when I heard an older child needed a sponsor, I jumped at the chance. In 2011, I met Sandhitha for the first time while I was in India.


She was a shy, soft-spoken fifth grader. Her parents, who are illiterate, grow rice. They don't own the land they farm. She has two brothers and a sister.

The next time I saw Sandthita was in January 2014, on her 13th birthday. The principal was grateful for my visit, as the students don't have many opportunities to practice with a native English speaker. He invited me to the Republic Day Celebration to be held later that week.

When the celebration was over, I went to Sandhitha's classroom and was greeted jubilantly. All her shyness gone, she introduced me to her friends.

A few weeks later, as I was leaving a temple with a group of friends, a child in our school uniform came up to me and said, "Aren't you Judith?" "Yes," I answered. She ran to fetch one of Sandhitha's classmates saying, "This is Sandhitha's friend!" I was amazed that even though I had not met this child, she knew my name - our names are very strange for them - and she knew that I was Sandhitha's sponsor.

In rural India, an education is a privilege, not an entitlement, and everyone is grateful when a child is offered this precious chance.


In the US, many children take education for granted. In India, village children struggle to get even a rudimentary education, let alone the high quality education they receive through the Sponsorship Program. Over the years, I have seen children blossom and grow. What a joy to behold!

For me, sponsorship is a heart connection, being part of a bigger community.

Your sponsorship makes such a difference, not only in the life of the child you sponsor, but for an entire village.

Please consider sponsoring a child.

Learn more about the School Sponsorship Program.