One of the requirements for the students in the Isla Mujeres Scholarship Program is that is that they communicate at least once a month with their sponsors. That communication can be done via email or in the Facebook group that has been created for their team. This is a great way to learn more about each other and to form a lasting relationship.
This month Gibran’s email to his sponsors included a little about a class he is taking as part of the Hospitality Management curriculum. Gibran wrote: “This period was so good we did molecular kitchen it was fried eggs of coconut and mango like “fake fried eggs".
To me this is what makes this program special. Getting to know the students that I sponsor is priceless, so much more than just writIng a check. ♥️
The online auction to benefit the Isla Mujeres Scholarship Program’s was a huge success!
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This just in... ⭐️
A gorgeous shell frame made by long time Isla resident Bessie Hamaker for the Isla Mujeres Scholarship Programs’s online action.
Bessie has donated a shell frame to our previous two auctions. This one is just as stunning as the previous two.
The scholarships fundraising auction will go live on Facebook on February 24. You may start to see items listed as I add them to the event prior to that date but the official date is the 24th.
Kudos to Bessie for donating to the auction to help us support the students in the scholarship program. What a great way to give back to the community and the future of the island. 💕
“By Bessie Hamaker. Outside diameter is 18.5”, inside diameter is 12.25”. No mirror included for easy transport in luggage and possible use as a picture frame. Priceless!”
✔️ Water adventures like snorkeling trips and sunset cruises
✔️ Airport transportation
✔️ Gift certificates to some of the best restaurants
✔️ Handcrafted jewelry and art work
✔️ Massage and acupuncture
✔️ Pampering - Facial, manicure and pedicure spa services
✔️ Classes from Isla locals
Geovanny is shown in these photos volunteering at the Isla Diabetes Clinic and Ruben’s Three Kings Day Celebration. He is already giving back to his community and plans to do more once he has completed his studies and received his degree in psychology.
From Maggie Washa:
I am excited to announce the newest new student joining our scholarship program. His name is Gibran and he will be starting at the Universidad del Sur in Cancun this August/Sept. It has been his dream for many years to go to University and after exploring several ideas, has decided to get a degree in Hospitality Administration, a degree offered to those wishing to be in the tourist industry.
Gibran is already fluent in English, having studied it at every opportunity since he was very young. He graduated from high school a year ago, and has not wasted any time since then. Over the winter he took a course through the Red Cross and is now an EMT (emergency medical technician). He worked full time at Garrafón as a waiter and at Dolphin Discovery. It is there that he enjoyed improving his English skills, but also took the opportunity to pick up any vocabulary in other languages as well. He says he loves practicing Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese!
He lives with his parents, sister and nephew in a small home in the Guadalupana. His mother and sister run a small day care center on Isla, and his father is a cook at Garrafón Park. Gibran is now 19 years old. He has worked and saved for the last year to pay for his registration and admission, but will need help with his monthly tuition payments and daily commute to Cancun. Here is a quote from his letter asking for the scholarship: "English has given me the opportunity to interact with people of many nationalities, it is very interesting to know other cultures. The degree that I am interested in now is Hospitality Management, and one of my biggest dreams is to hold my university degree in my hands. I have always cared about the people of my community and the island. When I was young, I volunteered for a foundation called PEACE and I was also part of the Green Patrol (a youth group dedicated to environmental preservation). Both groups were concerned about the welfare of Isla Mujeres. With the knowledge that the degree will give me I will be able to do projects so that the culture and traditions of the island are not lost. You have come into my life to help make my dreams a reality. Maybe some time ago I would not have believed this opportunity would come, but in my mind I have always had this phrase "Never let small minds make you believe that your dreams are too big for you." I will not disappoint you, I thank God for putting you into my life, I also thank you for helping me to make my dreams come true." We are looking for a good handful of sponsors to make up this new "Team Gibran" (pronounced heeBRAHN). I can guarantee that you will love this young man, for his enthusiasm, intelligence and very strong motivation to succeed. He will continue to live on Isla Mujeres and communicates very well in English, so it will be easy to get to know him and his very supportive family.
From Geovanny: My name is Geovanny De la O Avalos and I am 40 years old. I was born on Isla to a family with a long history on Isla Mujeres, with my family being pioneers and fishermen of the island. My grandfather was one of the first chief of police elected by the local people. He taught me how to become a fisherman. I have been married to my wonderful wife for 21 years and have two children, a daughter age 20 and a son age 16 years old.I went to primary and secondary public school on Isla and stopped my education while in secondary school for financial reasons. I started to volunteer for the Red Cross in 1992 when I was 14 years old. For many years I worked as a fisherman and waiter, in the tourism industry and as a property manager, but as I became older and watched my children get their education, I decided that I needed to receive my high school diploma. I studied in a program in Cancun for adults getting their GED and after 150 hours of preparation, I took the examinations for a high school diploma. I successfully passed with some of the highest grades of the 50 students in the program. I received my GED in 2016.
I have had personal experience in mental health as a member of my family was diagnosed first with depression, then bipolar disease and eventually schizo-affective disorder. During this process of exploring mental health options, I went with my family member from one medical doctor to another, from one hospital to another and realized that not many medical professionals are prepared to deal with the impact of mental illness on patients and their families. Also, as a long time EMT for the Red Cross, I realize that not even paramedics are trained to deal with people in trauma and in mental health crises.
In March 2017 I started working with the Family and Social Services Agency (DIF) and this marked the first time I worked as a social service worker helping people. DIF sent me to take courses in Quintana Roo and the Yucatan in the areas of children’s services, senior services, psychology, case management, crisis intervention during national disasters and with clients who have experienced trauma such as rape, abductions and kidnapping.
I am particularly proud of my work currently providing health prevention and intervention at all events of DIF, including the senior’s cachibol team. One of my players is my primary school music teacher!
My goal is to create a protocol for first responders such as police, EMT’s, paramedics, doctors, etc. in order to help families and patients who are in crisis on Isla Mujeres. Even though we are a small island with 17,000 people, there is a great need for this kind of service.
I am a husband and father, a fisherman and paramedic, and most important a humanist. I love my family and my community and find purpose in collaborating with many people and projects, including being the President of the Board of the Club Pro-Paciente Diabetico Isla Mujeres AC, a non profit group that supports the Isla Diabetes Clinics. I am an active volunteer with the Red Cross unit in Cancun and recently was fortunate to take a course at the medical school in Mexico City for treatment of burn victims. After graduating with a degree in psychology, I plan to give back to my community where there is a need for my services and continue to spread the philosophy of humanism and service to people that I so strongly believe in.
Geovanny at an Isla Diabetics Clinic
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