We, at Children’s Shelter of Hope Foundation, are proud to share with you information about our scholarship/sponsorship program, SOS or Sponsor One Student. Each year our Mexican representative, Bety, solicits suggestions from local schools, individuals, and board members in order to identify some motivated, dedicated, and serious students in the Bay of Banderas area who are enrolled in secondario (middle school), prepa (high school) or a university/trade school program, but are in danger of dropping out of school for financial reasons. The goal is to “rescue” these students by offering them financial support; including enrollment and tuition expenses, transportation expenses, books, uniforms, shoes, backpacks, basic school supplies, etc. Their attendance and progress is closely monitored, and a minimum GPA (grade point average) is required in order to continue receiving support. There are usually about 20 students receiving funding through our SOS program. Most have been with us for many years and are incredible individuals.
These students also come together regularly to do community service projects – giving back to others in need. Some help regularly at La Escuelita; others work with soccer teams at Club Vallarta or help to cleanup playgrounds, river areas, or community spaces in their neighborhood. They are a close and kind group; supporting and motivating each other to reach their personal goals.
The needs of these exceptional students vary a great deal, from only requiring tuition and bus money for a trade school class to a much higher level of need for some of the university students who require housing closer to their school and a food allowance plus college tuition, bus transportation, uniforms, etc. Intake interviews are conducted with each student and their families, and for those who meet the GPA and economic poverty criteria individualized support programs are constructed so that they can remain in school and eventually reach their ultimate educational goals.
Our suggested donation levels for the SOS program are:
- A donation of $600 US/CDN for a full year of support for one student, or
- A donation of $300 US/CDN for a half year of support for one student, or
- A donation of $50 US/CDN per month
What a wonderful way to break the cycle of poverty and bring hope to these deserving students and their families.