How and when did you first hear about the scholarship program?
I learned of the scholarship program in its earliest days and thought it was a wonderful idea.
Why did you decide to become a sponsor?
Eventually, a student named Marbella caught my attention. She was married with two children, an older student who wanted to further her education and improve her family's well-being. I recognized a bit of myself in Marbella, as I also returned to college here in the U.S. to finish my degree when I was in my late 20s - a decision that changed my life for the WAY better. Marbella's team was phenomenal: not only did we cover her tuition, we also helped her buy a computer, deal with a few emergencies, and eventually contributed to help build her family a modest home on the island.
Have you met your student while you were visiting Isla Mujeres?
I met Marbella in 2010 and visited with her at La Gloria English School, where she was then employed. Not long ago, I saw a scholarship program post about a young woman named Yuseli. I was intrigued with her essay about why she wanted to continue her education and thereby encourage her younger siblings to do the same, so I signed on to sponsor her. I haven't met Yuseli yet, but I hope to one day.
The financial aspects - and many promotional activities - of this program are managed by a dear friend I met on Isla, Jana Epperson, so I know my money is going exactly where it is needed. Many other friends I've made on the island are sponsors, too, including Jackie, who began this blog. If you love Isla Mujeres, I can't think of a finer way to give back to this beautiful little island.
Below are Jana, Viki and Marbella