Apr 9 2012

CFCA scholarships keep dream of education alive

Sponsorship through the Hope for a Family program helps cover costs associated with education, but when children reach secondary school, the cost to stay in school may exceed what sponsorship provides.

CFCA scholarships help fill this gap.

Manuel, CFCA staffer in Guatemala

Jose Manuel Bajan Buch, left, leads CFCA's education outreach in the Hermano Pedro project in Guatemala.

Since 2001, the CFCA Scholarship Program has awarded more than $22 million to deserving youth and young adults attending secondary schools, technical schools and university programs.

The scholarship program in Guatemala began in 1997 and supports more scholarship students than in any other country where CFCA works.

Here’s an interview with Jose Manuel Bajan Buch, who leads CFCA’s education outreach in the Hermano Pedro project in Guatemala.

Jose Manuel works with an education coordinator in each of the project’s nine regions. The local coordinators are responsible for administering the scholarship program in their communities.

Who is eligible for a CFCA scholarship?

Students in middle school and beyond, at least 15 years old. They must have limited economic resources, a commitment to improving their conditions, a desire to continue their education, leadership qualities and a desire to serve their community.

How does a student apply for a scholarship?

Students apply at the CFCA office in their community in October and November for the school year that begins in January.

Students must bring their school transcript, a resume, two recommendation letters, parent’s identification and a birth certificate. They must also complete the CFCA scholarship application form.

Cindy applies for CFCA scholarship

Cindy, who is sponsored through CFCA, applies for a CFCA scholarship. She dreams of becoming a teacher.

How do you determine eligibility?

The local CFCA coordinator analyzes each case and visits the student’s home to verify economic need, which is determined by the condition of the applicant’s home.

For example, we determine whether there is access to running water, electricity, a latrine; how many children are in the family; and total family income.

Other important factors are the student’s will to pursue an education and school performance.

We seek young people with a great desire to study, a positive attitude, leadership potential and a strong sense of service.

[Related link: CFCA scholarship students serve their communities]

How long does it take to review the application and make a decision?

It takes 30 to 45 days.

How many CFCA scholarship students are in Guatemala?

We have 2,555 scholarship holders: 2,500 in middle school and high school, 40 in college, and 15 mothers (of sponsored children) ages 35 to 48.

Are most scholarship holders also sponsored through CFCA?

About 75 percent of our scholarship students are also sponsored. CFCA in Guatemala currently gives priority to sponsored students.

With help from sponsorship and a scholarship, students receive significant support to pay for their education.

What careers are most popular for CFCA scholar students?

College-level students study auditing, law and business administration.

High school students take teaching, accounting, bilingual secretarial courses and classes to complete the program associated with a basic two-year high school diploma.

You can help! Donate to the CFCA Scholarship Program today.

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