By Marie Moebius
This January and February, as every year, the Biblioteca received applications from students who wish to participate in our Scholarship Program. Under the direction of Alma Cervantes, coordinator of the program, the scholarship committee reviews hundreds of files. In 2021, we have received a much higher number of applications than in previous years. This phenomenon is explained by two reasons: first we have managed to spread our call in a much more organized way thanks to our new website and our better management of social networks. In this way we reach students from more remote communities. Our objective, in effect, is for 50 percent of the scholarships we award to go to students from rural areas. The other reason we have received more requests is the difficult economic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not a surprise that families were affected by the downturn in economic activity in our community, and many students mention this in their cover letters.
In this social context we know that it takes a lot of talent and a lot of determination to complete a university degree. The challenge of bearing the costs of transportation, telephone, internet, books, and materials should not have to be the reason for dropping out. The Biblioteca scholarship represents an annual financial support of 8,800 pesos for university students, freely administered by the scholarship recipients. Additionally, scholarship recipients receive advice and personalized attention throughout the year from scholarship committee volunteers.
When I told my friends Ximena Domínguez and Vanessa Garay what our Biblioteca scholarship program consists of, they immediately set out to offer their help and support a fundraising campaign. Ximena and Vanessa are two long-time real estate professionals in San Miguel and they understand that the key to a prosperous society also lies in access to education. They stand in solidarity with the future of talented young people in our community and for this reason they have committed to grant scholarships to 10 university students from our program thanks to a “matching gift” campaign. Together with Agave Sotheby’s International Realty, they offer to double every dollar donated to their campaign, up to US$2,500. Thus, in a common effort, we can reach the total of US$5,000.
We know that a diploma can change a life. This campaign is an excellent way to take action together so that our beneficiaries reach their goals. Each donation is a great contribution, because thanks to the generosity of Ximena and Vanessa, our impact is multiplied by two! From now on, and until Apr. 24, you can donate by following the link below. We can all be agents of the change we want to see in our society.