In the picture below, taken in 2019, 5 students have since graduated, with degrees in physical therapy, business administration, computer engineering, nursing and law! They have come from near impossible financial constraints to professional degree.
We hope you will want to make this very personal connection with an Isla student. It will change your life!
Maggie Washa firstname.lastname@example.org
Jana Epperson email@example.com
Jackie Conlon firstname.lastname@example.org
Isla Scholarship Program Update - Part Two
Isla Scholarship Program Update - Part One
Hello from the Isla Scholarship Program,
All is well as we transition, graduating two more students and taking on two new ones. It is always a busy time for us administrators of the Scholarship Program. We are very proud to have graduated Miguel with a law degree from the university in Merida. Paola will be finishing her dental internships next month, when she will be called Dr. Paola and be able to practice dentistry. We are so proud of both these young adults and all that they have worked so hard to accomplish!
Now we have chosen two new students who are beginning their scholarships with us. Both started their studies without financial help and soon realized they would have to drop out unless help came from someplace. (In Mexico, once a student starts out in an academic program, they must finish it without taking a break. If they suspend their studies for whatever reason, they lose all earned credits and must start completely over again. This makes it impossible to take a break to earn enough to finish their university education.) And this is where our Scholarship Program can come in and help.
I would like to present these two students, with the hope that you might be interested in helping sponsor them. We form a 'team' for each student and the monthly support from these teams keeps the student in school. Sponsors commit to as little as $30/month up to $100/mo or more to help their student. In return the students keep a good GPA and write a letter to their team of sponsors every month. If/when you are on Isla, you will get to meet with your student and get to know them personally! It is a wonderful intercultural exchange as families meet families and a young adult gets an education they could only dream about. We hope you keep reading and choose a student!
👩🏻💻Tamara came to us in October of last year asking for financial help. She lives here on Isla Mujeres and goes to school in Cancun, studying graphic design. When the pandemic hit, her family became unable to continue supporting her because both parents lost their employment. She was able to find a very part time job but it wasn't enough to pay her expenses. She continued going to school even as she began going into debt, to get all the education she could and she hoped for a miracle so she could continue somehow. But she was facing the possibility of having to give up her dream when the University would not let her register for fall classes unless she began payments on past tuition due. She started a go-fund-me type page as she desperately looked for any way to stay in school. And she found us. We liked her strength, perseverance and big dreams. When asked what her dream for her future is, she said: "I want to be able to finish my University studies, to be able to travel to foreign places and explore new ideas and to be able to create and learn more about design. I want to have my own brand and my own business and create and sell my professional services as a graphic designer."
She has a GPA of 8.5 and is fluent in English! (This is a sign she is not afraid to fearlessly take chances, make mistakes and persevere when she has a goal.) We are proud to add Tamara to our scholarship program and hope to add a handful of new sponsors to her team. You will be well rewarded!
We have great news to celebrate! Mike graduated from our scholarship program in July of 2020. His area is computer engineering and he loves working with computers. Today he received very exciting news. After 5 different interviews and 4 tests, he was offered and accepted a full time position at the Apple Service Center in the Hotel Zone in Cancun! This is his dream job and he is thrilled!! CONGRATULATIONS MIKE!!
👨🏽🎓 Congratulations to Miguel who will be graduating this month with a Law Degree! 📜 🎉🥳
Miguel and Cleyder, Team Brothers were accepted into the Isla Mujeres Scholarship Program in 2015. Clyder graduated last year with an Electronic Engineering Degree. I have been part of the team since the beginning and I’m so proud that both of the brothers completed the hard work and had the dedication and professionalism to finish their degrees. It wasn’t always easy but they did a fantastic job!
“I am very grateful for the support you gave to my brother and me. I thank you for the support that each and every one of you have given us. My brother graduated thanks to you and I am about to graduate this December, and every day it is getting closer. I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity, this privilege of being one of the students belonging to this (scholarship) group and to be able to excel, since without the help of each one of you I could not have concluded this stage of my life. It will undoubtedly mark a before and after in my life, I really feel very lucky and excited. I feel nervous, proud, happy to finish.”
It was like a miracle, I remember the hard times we were going through where possibly my brother and I were going to stop studying, but thanks to you and your support we have continued studying, we have met extraordinary people throughout these years, you are extraordinary and bright. I will always be very grateful to each of you who have given us the help and have trusted us.”
Please welcome me in congratulating Miguel in completing his degree and making his dreams come true.
Meeting Cleyder, Mom and Miguel for the fist time
Today is an exciting day for Miguel aka Mike. Not only is this the day that he officially graduates with a degree in Computer Engineering from University, but it is also his birthday!
When I think of Mike, the word 'scholar' comes to mind. He is continually excited about learning and ready to share what he has learned and talk about the projects that he has been working on. He takes on every new hurdle as an opportunity to learn more and to experience more. I know that Mike will be successful in life because of his unending quest for knowledge, strong work ethic and kind spirit.
We often turned to Mike for help when we were choosing new computers for other students in the program and he is always available to help anyone on the island with any computer issues. During his time as a student he has been invaluable and always happy to help us.
Mike took advantage of an opportunity to travel to Canada a couple of years ago, in order to attend an immersive English class and we were thrilled to be able to help make that happen. I remember when we were trying to explain to him how cold it would be there and that he wouldn't really be able to understand it until he was there. When he arrived, he messaged me to tell me he was freezing! Haha. He had such a wonderful trip and made friends from all over the world, took his first airplane trip and yes, witnessed cold that I don't even comprehend, being from Texas. It was such a cool and enriching experience and he drank it in. Mike loves to practice his English whenever he has a chance.
For his final project at University, Mike upgraded the wiring and internet at Dolphin Discovery on Isla Mujeres. He worked very hard over many months and did a great job. Graduation was put off for a couple of months due to the pandemic, but he has done it!! Mike is one of our all time favorite students in the program. He's a wonderful, caring and determined young man with a great attitude and I can't wait to see what the future holds. I know it will be brilliant!
Please join me in a big CONGRATULATIONS to Mike. We are so proud of you! - Jana
This beautiful lady is Diana. Diana graduated this summer with a degree in Business Administration and with no graduation ceremony, fanfare, or celebrations in the midst of a pandemic. Her road to success has not been easy, but she is one of the most determined people I ever known and she did not let anything stop her.
In the evenings, after school, she and her husband, along with some other family members were running a food delivery service from their home for extra income. When the pandemic hit, Diana and Alejandro quickly transformed this business into a service. They have sought out the people who are most in need, the elderly, single mothers, people who are neglected and have no help, and they have supplied them with necessities for survival: food, diapers, formula, medication and hope. I promise that the stories would make you cry. Her sponsors and other generous, caring people continue to donate so that we can send funds to help those hit the hardest by Covid and the economic disaster that it has caused. When she began this, she sent us a breakdown of expenses and basically a business plan. She also sends us photos of the recipients, which of course we don't share for privacy reasons.
When Diana joined our program, she told us, " "In my family I am the only person that has finished high school and this is part of my motivation to keep studying along with those who have encouraged me to continue my studies. I want to be a professional woman, useful in society and able to develop in any professional position in my work, and more than anything to be my father’s biggest pride."
Not only did Diana complete her degree in an accelerated program, but she also had a beautiful baby boy and did not skip a beat. I'd say she's made not only her father proud, but every one of her sponsors, as well. I could not be more proud of Diana and Alejandro and the way that they have stepped up to become leaders and helpers of their community. Diana often tells me that it was a really tiring day, but she feels satisfied and blessed to be able to help. I think Diana is a true hero and a role model and we are so incredibly proud to have her in our Scholarship Program Family.