Dil Kumarf Poudel, 35, cares for her two children and runs her household alone, as her husband has migrated to Malaysia to work as a daily wage laborer. Livelihood opportunities are scarce here, especially for girls, who face incredible barriers to education and income generation, including the pressure to marry early, unequal household responsibilities, and a lack of familial support. Dil married at 15 — while in grade 8 — but continued her studies, even though it was difficult. However, after she failed her grade 10 exam and got pregnant, she dropped out completely, instead tending to her children full time and supporting them with them with agricultural work. She regretted not completing her education and felt her life could never improve. (The grade 10 exam is equivalent to a high school diploma and is required for higher education or skilled work.)Mercy Corps’ STEM program supports out-of-school girls age 16-30 with life skills education, financial literacy classes and access to loans, so they can build better livelihoods and improve their lives. Dil began attending the program meetings several years ago, a move that transformed her view of herself and helped her build the confidence to retake her grade 10 exam and complete her education. With her grade 10 certification, she has been able to take a position on the board of the local school and now works to improve its facilities and ensure students get the education they deserve.