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Here's a description of how we work with the kids in this impoverished area of Mexico.

Initial selection:
In May, our contact in Mexico, who was a teacher for 40 years, speaks with the sixth grade teachers in the three elementary schools to identify the kids who:
  • are very poor, and at risk of dropping out of school after sixth grade
  • display an interest in school and have at least an 87% grade average
Application:
The identified kids and their parents are invited to a meeting to discuss the requirements for the scholarship, and those interested receive an application and asked to complete it and return it in June when they are due to us. The junior high and high school is also permitted to submit applications for kids that meet our criteria. We received 40 applications last year.
Processing and sponsor selection:
The applications are entered into a spread sheet and sent to prospective sponsors in late June/early July so sponsors can select the student they would like to sponsor. Selections are first come, first served.
Donation:
Sponsors send in their $225 per student donation (due by the end of July). Donations can be made by check or by credit card (or Pay Pal) through the purchasing option on our web site. We also ask the sponsor to send us a picture we can give to their student(s).
Sponsorships Awarded:
The steps are as follows:
  • Students who are matched with a sponsor are notified that they have been pre-qualified for the scholarship
  • The team (board members and volunteers) travel to Mexico in late August (just before school starts) to meet with the kids and verify their circumstances. We visit their homes and speak with the parents to ensure they are willing to support their kids staying in school.
  • The team makes the final selection and invites the kids and their parents to attend the award ceremony where they are asked to sign a contract accepting the requirements of the scholarship which include maintaining their grade average and doing an hour a month of community service.
  • We give each student a picture of their sponsors, we take their picture and ask them to write a thank you note to their sponsors.
  • The team then goes to the schools to provide a list of kids in our program, pay tuitions and books; we purchase and deliver uniforms, shoes and a first installment of school supplies (the second installment is given in Feb/March).
Follow up:
Students are monitored for performance and participation throughout the school year.
  • When we return from Mexico, we translate the letters and send them to the sponsors along with the student's picture.
  • We are provided grades two to three times per year (usually January and June) which we share with the sponsors.
  • We make another trip in February/March for our shoe program (a separate effort) and meet with the students to discuss their progress and give them their second installment of school supplies and another pair of shoes. Students who are not meeting the grade requirement or have not done their community service are placed on probation. They are dropped from the program for the next cycle if they do not meet the requirements they agreed to by the end of the school year.
Addtional information:
Here is some additional information about our scholarship program.
  • We like the sponsors to agree to stay with the student for as long as the student stays in the program. If the child is dropped from the program, the sponsor is invited to choose another student during the next cycle.
  • Our generous sponsors currently support 92 kids including four in college.

Sponsor communication directly with the students is a little difficult because there are no street addresses in the town thus limited postal service. However, older students are learning to use the internet and we are beginning to get email addresses that can facilitate communication if language is not a barrier.

Please send us any additional questions you have and let me know if you want to be added to the list of potential sponsors.

Thank you for your interest.

Please contact us for more information, to make donations, or to sponsor our fundraising events.

Here is a list of our current educational sponsors. Thank you for your support of this important program. And here is some news about our successes.

 
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