By Don Krim
That great cry of emotion you might have heard beyond the clamor of thunderstorms? It was joy echoing down alleys as 34 new Jovenes Adelante (JA) scholars from San Miguel de Allende’s centro and campo have just been admitted to JA’s family. This is the largest intake JA has ever had, a breakthrough consistent with objectives outlined three years ago for large scale sustainable growth.
It has been a fascinating year. As JA rolled out a radically improved application process (solicitud) under the shadow of Covid-19, we witnessed the palpable energy of students eager to succeed regardless of hardships. The range and distribution of fields of study are different than in recent years. Highlights that are particularly striking include 10 students seeking medical professions, a prospective marine biologist, a zoologist, and a criminologist. Fifteen students are coming right out of high school and 19 have already begun their university studies. Those already in university will be studying at 10 different universities, the furthest being in Baja California. Those completing high school are still in the process of taking their university entrance exams. Each student is of the first generation in their family to enter university–an impact that is immeasurable over time.
Several of these students could never be expected to succeed even with JA’s premium scholarship and will need extra support. This support, available to all our students upon special application and protocols, is provided from both the Betse Davies Special Stars and Susi Beere Emergency Funds.
Next up for JA and our current and new students will be a series of processes that mark the beginning and end of every new school season: all students will have a session to discuss reentry into classroom settings; new mentors will be trained and oriented and new students will meet them and begin work; new sponsors will receive profiles of their new students; new and continuing students will have an annual meeting and meet each other; and new students will receive their computers, bank cards, and contracts. All this, no doubt largely still carried out via zoom, marks the peak of excitement for all of JA as an entire new class of students enters the program and JA family. We can’t wait, and as you can “hear,” neither can our students. Here is one of them now: “Muchísimas gracias…de verdad por el apoyo estoy muy emocionado.” As are all of us at Jovenes Adelante.
If you are interested in volunteering to join Jovenes Adelante’s mentor pool, English tutor roster, or to get an early place in committing to financially sponsor a 2022 student, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or find more information at www.jovenesadelante.org