Scholarships Key to a Better Future

Enabling students to continue their education this year despite families being out of work is critical for them, their families and the community.  

Scholarship recipients serving as distribution volunteers.
  • 650+ Students from families in need received “becas” (scholarships) of basic school supplies for distance learning this fall.  
  • Additional supplies (backpacks, paper products and specialty items) will be distributed when classes resume in schools.

Friends of Cozumel offers a financial scholarship program to assist selected students in prepa (high school) and universidad (college). 37 students received scholarships; 21 prepa (high school) and 16 college students.    

  • All high school and public university students are required to pay tuition of approximately 1,300 pesos ($65USD) per semester, plus books, copies, etc. 
  • Private schools are significantly more expensive.    
  • On-line learning is an additional expense this year.  Most families did not have home internet access.  However, scholarships are being used to purchase internet service.   
  • Nearly all the prepa scholarship recipients will be the first in their families to complete high school.  It is a key milestone that improves their employment opportunities and helps families become self-sufficient.
  • We have seen a significant increase in the number of young women continuing their education over the years.  This year the number of girls in high school is greater than boys.  
  • University scholarship recipients are equally split between young men and women.  They are pursuing careers in medical forensics, business, teaching, psychology, nursing, vetinary medicine, physical therapy, food service, archeology and architecture.
Dr. Nuri Caravajal, scholarship recipient and volunteer

Special congratulations to Dr. Nuri Caravajal, who graduated from med school and recently completed a year of serving communities in the Yucatan. Dr. Nuri is studying for entrance exams for her residency and plans to pursue a specialty in pediatrics. She was one of the initial scholarship recipients and is a long-time Friends of Cozumel volunteer.  

Scholarship recipients are encouraged to serve as volunteers giving back to the community.  Pictured above are three scholarship recipients who served as volunteers distributing school supplies in August:  Salomón (left-secundaria/middle school), Jefte (center—architecture university student) and Jessica (right—prepa/high school). 

Interested in learning more or giving to the scholarship program? Contact Karen or Larry Pedersen; pedersenkj@hotmail.com or pedersenll@hotmail.com   

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