Alberto Fierro of the Mexican Consulate in Orlando presents an IME
scholarship grant check to Daytona State College President
The Mexican government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded $16,600 to Daytona State College to provide scholarships and financial assistance to Mexican-Americans and international students from Mexico enrolled in its college credit and adult education programs.
Sponsored by the ministry’s Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME), the scholarship program will help up to 150 students enrolled in GED, ESOL and other adult education programs pay for classes and expenses such as testing fees, educational supplies and textbooks. In addition, the program calls for up to eight low-income students enrolled in college-level courses to receive as much as $1,000 each in scholarships.
The Sister Cities Association of Volusia County also has earmarked $2,500 for the Daytona State College Foundation to supplement the grant.
“This represents a great partnership and couldn’t come at a better time,” said Daytona State President Carol Eaton, citing recent legislative changes which require the college to charge fees for historically free adult education programs. She noted that the fees which were instituted this past fall semester have placed a hardship on a student population that can least afford them, resulting in a significant drop in adult education enrollment. “This partnership,” she said, “will help ensure that our doors stay open to anyone who chooses to pursue a better life for themselves and their families through education.”
This week, Eaton and Alberto Fierro of the Mexican Consulate in Orlando formalized the scholarship agreement during a gathering of consulate, Sister Cities and college officials, and students attending ESOL classes at First Baptist Church of DeLeon Springs. A majority of IME scholarship-eligible students reside and attend classes on the west side of Volusia County, many of them at community based locations.
Dixie Blake, president of the Sister Cities Association, introduced Maria Velasquez, a Taylor High School graduate who was awarded a scholarship by the association to begin classes at Daytona State. “She is now a senior in the nursing program there,” Blake said. “We did this in partnership with the Daytona State College Foundation because we feel that scholarships are important and it is part of our mission to help young people. We are very pleased to have been able to help Maria and we look forward to helping others.”
Established in 2003, the IME BECAS Scholarship Program is designed to raise the education levels of the Mexican and Mexican-American communities in the United States. Grants are provided to educational institutions and non-profit social organizations across the US to train Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans interested in continuing their education and jobs skills development. The program’s ultimate goal is to help Mexican communities living abroad to better assimilate into their extended societies by opening doors of economic opportunity through education and workforce training.
The Sister Cities Association of Volusia County is a non-profit organization which promotes international exchanges between cities and people. The organization is twinned with Campeche, Mexico, and Bayonne, France, to establish mutually beneficial cultural, educational and business opportunities.
Last year, more than 500 students of Mexican origin attended Daytona State, including international students from Mexico and Mexican-American citizens. The vast majority enrolled in the college’s School of Adult Education. All US citizens of Mexican descent and international students from Mexico are eligible for the IME scholarship.
For more information about the IME, please visit http://www.ime.gob.mx.