Often a long term bond forms when a sponsor meets the student that they are supporting.
Alejandra was our first university student who I started sponsoring in March 2008. She tags me in Facebook posts about what she is doing and in photos of her son so I can see how he is growing. I love that Alejandra still shares her life with me all these years later.
David is another student that I sponsored who still contacts me. We meet up every time that I am on Isla. Many sponsors have attended their student's graduation ceremonies, weddings and family birthday parties. Students become like family members and they are very appreciative of the help they have received from their sponsors. The students often refer to their sponsors as Godparents.
Recently sponsors Marie and Nick were honored to attend a family event with David who is a former scholarship student.
Marie posted "Being part of this program gives you unexpected opportunities, like being invited to the civil 'registration' of your former student's baby. Love it! Thanks to David (and Sirly) for including us. It was an interesting slice of life. I cherish my relationship with him."
Hola, My name is Yuseli (JewSELLee), I am 21 years old and live on Isla Mujeres. I am the 3rd of five children and live with my parents. Actually we all live in a rented room that costs $1,800/month apart from the water, light and gas costs. My father works independently without a set salary. From 4AM to 5PM he goes to the beach and looks for marine species, so many, like conch to have to sell to the tourists. His work is risky because he may not see any, depending on the weather and time of the year. All of this is to bring some money to our family. My mother is employed as a house cleaner in a home where she cleans, prepares food and cares for the children. She works 12 hours a day, from 8 AM to 8 PM for a salary of $120 pesos/day. My older brothers could not finish their studies because we do not have the financial resources, and like me have found employment so we can help the family.
Since middle school I have been working to be able to pay for my school expenses and also when I entered high school, because my parents could not help, but I am very motivated. When I finished high school I had plans to study engineering or public accounting, but because of the high costs I have had to postpone my plans and dreams for 2 years. Actually in these 2 years I want to save in part to pay for my academic expenses because I could help my parents with food for the house.
I have always wanted a career where I can help my parents who have always worked very hard (for this I am very proud of them) and to avoid that my two younger sisters abandon their studies for lack of money.
This year I took the entrance exam at the Institute of Technology in Cancun, competing with more than 600 other people who want a place in that university, and I am very proud that I came in 17th, giving my parents a lot of pride in me!
I am working now with a salary of $1500 pesos every ½ month, without health insurance or personal loans from my employer. The hours of work are from 7AM to 4 PM. For the new situation I would like to continue working and studying for the financial needs that I have. If I quit working I don’t know if I can find other work that would allow me to continue paying for my academic costs. An agreement that was proposed to me by someone at work is that I continue working part-time and reduce my salary to $800 pesos every 1/2month, and work from 6AM to 1PM. I need to be in school in Cancun by 2:15PM and I need to cross in the ferry so I can arrive on time.
To be accepted in the University I.T.C. I need to pay tuition each semester, which is $4,000 pesos. And to get there I must take a taxi from the port and of course travel by boat daily etc. It will cost $1,300 pesos each week to do this. In any free time I have to do other work, like selling homemade pastries and cake.
"There is nothing that is impossible. If I can finish my middle and high school studies, I can finish my university studies, because the desire is stronger than the flesh. I want to help my younger sisters who are studying also, as I have said, to give what I did not have, setting an example." God bless you.
I would like to talk about the assistance of a scholarship. Our family is very low on resources but I would like to finish my education because in truth I want a profession.
I live in the Invasion (Gradalupana) without electricity nor computer or USB among other things for school because we don’t have the money in our home. My parents are both working in situations where they don’t make much money. My mother is a waitress and my father works for city maintenance and thanks to their hard work I can take advantage of their resources and study. But at this time everything is getting more expensive and my parents cannot pay the expenses. We talked with the Municipio about a scholarship but they said they are no longer giving money and thanks to that it has been very difficult.
My computer work and all these things are difficult for me because I don’t have them. Some family members have lent me theirs, and in this way when there is no money, my relatives at times have lent money so I can do my homework. My parents are already working and I don’t know how to ask for money and all I can do is the see how to make it borrowing money and later return it.
Thank you so much for reading this letter.
1st year in Bachilleres, Isla Mujeres
Overall GPA in middle school was 9.5