By Don Krim
Five hundred and fifty-seven…237…127…101…and then there were 39.
From initial application to now this has been the journey of Jóvenes Adelante (JA) hopefuls. The remaining 39 will all be interviewed with their families in the penultimate step in our process. After that, we select as many students as we have funds to support. JA never supports a student until we have secured a commitment for sponsorship funds. As of this writing, JA has already exceeded its initial goal and has 26 current sponsors. Our new goal is to take four more, for a total of 30 of these new student applicants to cross the finish line and join the JA family in 2021, assuming we have that many candidates after the final interviews.
The fields of study that the final applicants have chosen is varied including some we have not seen in the past. The highest number of individual remaining candidates are seeking their nursing or law degree; we have aspiring criminologists and criminalists, medical students, teachers, a zoologist, a linguist and a scenic designer in addition to the more common info-tech and engineering students and architects. It is perhaps JA’s most exciting year!
These youths are all first-generation university students within their families. They are building a new future despite the hardships of the past year. They have overcome a final high school year or freshman university year online; they have endured financial uncertainties impacting their entire families; they have lost friends, teachers and family members to Covid–one just lost her mother in the past couple of weeks yet perseveres with her dreams.
The dream of a better future is the driving force for all these students. They want what we wanted at this age: a chance to learn, to grow, to be independent and to return to our families and communities to give back.
All of us in San Miguel de Allende who are able can be a part or their futures. Financial support combined with the most robust and multi-dimensional scholarship program in Mexico makes Jóvenes Adelante unique. We are with the student from start to finish with mentors, psychological assistance, English tutors, soft skills workshops and a network of students and graduates. Our success rate is 85 percent. The needs of these students are as urgent as those of San Miguel for a new generation of learned, educated youth to build the city’s future.
“When JA gave me this opportunity to study a career, they gave me the possibility of having better personal and professional opportunities. Now I can support my family and I’m financially independent. Thanks to my profession, I have been able to help those who need it.”
(Diana Cadena, Graduate in Pedagogy 2015)
To sponsor one of our last 4 student hopefuls, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.