Scholarship Programs Target Local Youths

Target in a good way
BY: JIM LOCHKER

The Green Scholarship Program is a nonprofit founded in 2006 when they split with Building Baja's Future, another nonprofit scholarhsip program, over differences on running the programs.

Arthur and Patricia Pratt became the honchos f the Green faction, with a mission "to help young people in Los Cabos achieve their dreams". To date, more than 126 scholarship students have received 100% of their tuition at a local university by the grace of the Green organization.

Scholarships are awarded to Los Cabos' students who graduate from high school with academic excellence and have a financial need, personal commitment to learning, and leadership skills. Students are granted these scholarships so they can become trained professionals committed to excellence and ready to face professional challenges that will allow them to have a bright and promising future in the Los Cabos community. So they don’t have to become a gardener or housekeeper in real speak. Green generally only sends them to local colleges, not only because of the cost of going outside, but to try and retain these bright minds for our state.

Candidates who apply for a Green scholarship must a have a minimum 9 grade point average on a scale of 1 to 10. They must be committed to perform community service, and show some leadership skills in their school. They also must maintain an average of 8.5 during their university career.

Once accepted to the Green Scholarship Program, 100% of their tuition is covered including books, seminars, transportation, English classes and life skill workshops. All scholars must attend intensive English classes once a week. Intensive and once a week seem to be at odds in a sentence, but hey, these kids are busy.

Currently, the Green Scholarship Program has 58 students enrolled in various careers such as tourism, information technology (IT), nutrition, psychology, marine biology, and culinary arts.

Last month, the annual Green Scholarship Program Orientation event was held in honor of students who have just graduated and new scholars coming into the program. The event was at the Playa Grande Hotel in Cabo, and was hosted by the founder of the Green Scholarship Program, Patricia Pratt, and the other members of the Green board. Special guests were Onagh Ash, Young People for Change; Donna Taylor Saunders, Casa Hogar; Wayne Bisbee, Bisbee's Fish & Wildlife Conservation Fund; and John Pentz, Pentz Real Estate & Partners.

www.gspcabo.com

Another scholarship program

For the Todos Santos Palapa Society, scholarships are the cornerstone of the organization. For more than 15 years, these scholarships have helped more than 1000 students receive an education and put them on the path to success. 29 students were honored at last month's Beca Graduation. Students, parents, and the community gathered to honor the high school and university graduates who received becas (scholarships) throughout their educational careers.

President Erick Ochoa said at the ceremony, "By granting a scholarship to our students, you are not only giving them the opportunity to obtain a better education, you are also forming a conscious and empathetic person who will understand the needs of our community and our world. At some point in their lives, you can be sure they too will create a positive change for all of us."

Dora Juliana Martínez, a graduate of the Beca program with a degree in communications from the UABCS said, "For me the scholarship opened a path of opportunities. More than economic support, it was a great motivator that impelled me to move forward. Knowing there were people believing in me filled me with hope to conclude this great stage of my life called university."

www.palapasociety.org

Can you stand one more?

Building Baja's Future (BBF) is another scholarship program and the one that broke away from the Green program. They grant scholarships to students graduating from high school who demonstrate the desire to be part of the program, need financial aid, who gather the merits to be a BBF scholarship student  and have character to achieve goals. The merit is demonstrated by leadership in school, civic and extracurricular activities, as well as academic achievements and motivation to serve and succeed.

Their criteria is nearly the same as the Green program, maybe because BBF and Green were one for quite a few years. They broke apart from Green people over differences in the growth trajectory. One faction wanted to focus on the individual, the other wanted to give the opportunity to greater numbers. There didn’t seem to be a right or wrong at the time and today each organization is contributing a great deal to a great number of people.

www.buildingbajasfuture.org.