Our scholarship program supports the studies of students from more than 15 neighboring communities by paying a monthly scholarship to help with their school fees and expenses. The scholarship recipients commit to maintaining passing or higher grades and to demonstrating leadership through participation within their communities. Participation might include involvement with local youth groups, grassroots organizations, church youth groups or activities at the Escuela de la Montaña such as leadership training sessions or the Arte en el Campo courses in music and art.
Scholarship students are also required to participate in regular Youth Encounters held at the Escuela de la Montaña where speakers have covered topics such as children’s rights, the Peace Accords, HIV/AIDS, gender issues, alcohol and drug abuse, politics, domestic violence, and how to respond to gang activity. Our intention is to promote a sense of leadership and community responsibility among the youth, stressing their roles as future leaders in their communities and in Guatemala.
Help us raise funds for next years program
The need for scholarships grows every year as unemployment rises. We normally give out 80-100 scholarships each year, depending on the number of applications received. The cost of the annual program ranges from $16,000 - $25,000 U.S., depending on how many scholarships there are and the breakdown between middle school and high school students.
Even a small scholarship can make the difference between staying in school and early entry to the labour force. The scholarships range from Q100 per month (US $13.35) for básico to Q225 per month (US $30) for diversificado. (Grades 7, 8 and 9 are called básico. Diversificado includes grades 10, 11 and 12 and often has a career focus, such as bookkeeping, computers, elementary teaching, secretary, etc.). We also give an extra amount in January to help with inscription fees - Q100 for básico and Q200 for diversificado.
Behind the scenes
We would like to say a big thank you to Michele Seipp, a former student of the Escuela de la Montaña for her continuing work on behalf of the scholarship program and other projects of the school. Michele Seipp has coordinated our fund-raising efforts for many years now, and most recently formed our dedicated non profit La Montana Fund in the U.S. In the past, Michele has worked hard to raise money for the scholarships programme, the community library and for many projects in the community of Fátima including the projects to get water and electricity in 2007.
Huge thanks are also due to Lynn Haanen, founding coordinator of the Escuela de la Montaña. It was under her leadership that the scholarships program began in 1999. Bob Hilliard has also played a significant role in ensuring the success of the program.