East Cape Guild Awards Scholarships

Investing in good kids is good business. And they could use some help
BY: PAIGE TURNER

It’s back-to-school time. Kids around the world are packing up notebooks, pencils, and any other supplies into their backpacks. There is just one problem. In Mexico, education is only free through the 8th grade. Once a child hits high school, the family must pay for their child to continue their schooling.

This hits hard for many Mexican families. Students are responsible for costs that can include tuition, school supplies, transportation, and any uniforms, including gym clothes. This costs an average of 500 USD for students attending high school.

However, in southern Baja, there is help. The East Cape Guild awards scholarships to underprivileged kids who show promise in continuing their education. Started in 1997, the program is listed in the International Community Foundation’s Giving Guide for 2018. The International Community Foundation (ICF) is a non-profit that works with programs in Northwest Mexico, and if they endorse a charity, that charity is gold. The ICF vets them to begin their association and in any year they continue to receive, financials must be filed and reviewed.

The East Cape Guild has strict requirements for its students, and that’s a good thing because it ensures the students who receive assistance will stick with it and excel. To achieve a scholarship, students must fill out an application, write a letter on why they deserve the scholarship, (in Spanish and English), and submit letters of recommendation, school attendance records and grades as well as their birth certificate. Once all the information is gathered, members of the guild score the applications, and scholarships are awarded based on economic need and academic achievement.

Since 1997, over 1,300 students have continued their education thanks to the East Cape Guild. Students are serious about their goals and express interest in becoming veterinarians, psychologists, computer equipment technicians, teachers, and one student even wants to be an anesthesiologist.

The organization uses a variety of fundraising techniques to help as many students as possible. Events such as open mic nights, bocce ball tournaments and an annual Monte Carlo night that feels like the famous casino in Monaco bring in thousands of dollars for the students. However, donations often need to match and exceed the money raised at these events in order to provide a quality education for these kids.

To help this program, the East Cape Guild takes donations through ICF, Wells Fargo, Goodsearch.com and Goodshop.com. However, if you’re a bit more local, you can make a donation directly to the organization by going to their website, eastcapeguild.com and contacting Anne Herschleb. School is back in session for many students around the world, and thanks to the East Cape Guild, some lucky students here in Baja California Sur will hit the books again this fall.