Meet Veronica Pool, an amazing single mom who works cleaning homes. She is determined to earn her prepa (high school) degree. Veronica is an excellent role model for her three children (one in primaria/elementary; two in secundaria/middle school). She attends Saturday classes at Bachilleres, a Cozumel prepa known to be one of the best academic high schools to prepare students for college. Veronica receives a “beca” scholarship from Friends of Cozumel to help pay tuition. Many of our students who receive becas are truly breaking barriers by being the first generation in their families to attend high school and university.
Sixty-nine students received becas this fall semester; 51 high students and 18 college students. Most of these students receive becas from the general FOC Scholarship fund; a few selected students also receive private scholarships from donors.
Prepa student becas are $1,300 pesos (about $77 USD @ FX 16.8) per semester. High school students are required to pay “inscripcion” (tuition) fees each semester. Their high school will automatically enroll them to receive a government scholarship that their family will receive in November or December so the students can use this to pay for tuition and other school expenses until they graduate.
University becas are $1,800 pesos (about $107 US) per semester for full-time tuition or some students use becas to pay for internet service at their home since much of their work is online. Friends of Cozumel supports a total of 63 university students with school supplies; 65% are young women. Examples of careers university students are using the becas to achieve: accounting, bio-medical engineering, food/beverage, business administration, nursing, nutrition, teaching, tourism, etc.
Becas are also available to students of all ages to take English classes that supplement what they learn in school. The ability to understand and speak conversational English is a huge advantage here to get a job supporting the tourism industry.
Special THANKS to our donors who fund the scholarship program. It is a wonderful investment that enables individuals and their families to become self-sufficient.