Scholarships for Ecuadorian Students

BACKGROUND

The Ecuadorian Scholars Fund (ESF) was created to inspire young Ecuadorians to pursue a college degree. Organizacion Juventud Ecuatoriana (JUVE) strongly believes that education is the road to success, and has established this annual scholarship fund geared to support and encourage the leaders of tomorrow.

THE NEED FOR THE PROJECT

The results of a survey done by Associated Press-Univision in 2009 revealed that 54% of Hispanics indicated the lack of funds as a great obstacle to obtain their College degrees. With 645,000 Ecuadorians (2011 Census Bureau’s American Community Survey), the Ecuadorian population is the tenth highest Hispanic population in the United States. According to PEW Hispanic (2011), “19% of Ecuadorians ages 25 and older—compared with 13% of all U.S. Hispanics and 29% among the entire U.S. population—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.” Although this represents improvement from previous years, and shows a higher percentage from Hispanics, it still shows a 10% difference from the national average. This project aims to contribute to promote the importance of education and motivating the community to support our your to pursue a college career. As of 2016, Juventud  Ecuatoriana celebrated its eight year awarding the ESF scholarships; which grants five $1,000 scholarships to college-level  students of Ecuadorian descent to help cover their school-related expenses.

Truly, a higher education degree derives a better future. The report “Ecuadorians in the United States 1980-2008,” conducted by the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the City University of New York, shows how the median household income has increased in recent years. At the same time as poverty has declined. Meanwhile, median income in Ecuadorian households with a Bachelor’s degree is 24% higher than in a home with a high school diploma. This data leads us to note the great impact that higher education has and the potential we have in our hands to improve the quality of life of Ecuadorians in our community.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

GOAL:
Ecuadorian Scholars Fund will support students from Ecuadorian descend living in the New York Tri-State Area to obtain a higher education degree through a financial contribution and motivational support.

OBJECTIVES:
Our program will:

  • Offer five(5) $1,000 scholarships to students of Ecuadorian descend, living in the New York Tri-State area with outstanding academic activity and involved in community service. Scholarships are awarded on November of every year.
  • Monitor the performance of students during the subsequent semester. This will allow the organization to provide support to scholarship recipients to ensure success. If the organization is unable to help the scholarship winners in some way, it will refer them to an entity that can address their specific case.
  • Measure its success by verifying that the five students have completed the subsequent semester, and that their total grade point average (GPA) remains or exceeds 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

METHOD:

A committee is established for this project to coordinate the promotion process, receiving applications, the selection of the winners, and the evaluation of the project’s success. The requirements to apply and participate in the scholarship competition are:

  1. Must be an Ecuadorian citizen or of Ecuadorian descend.
  2. Must be enrolled, or accepted, to study in the fall semester of the year of application, at an accredited university in the United States.
  3. Must have a total grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  4. Must provide proof of having completed a minimum of 15 hours of community service in the year of application
  5. Must write an argumentative essay about a selected topic.

For reasons of transparency, the people involved in the process of implementation, evaluation and selection of the winners may not receive any scholarships. The scholarship contest is open to the public through an electronic application on JUVE’s website from July 1st to August 31st every year.

The Director of the Program coordinates with the project committee to  receive the electronic applications, verify their compliance with the requirements, and assign an identification number for each application. The purpose of the identification number is to anonymize the name of the scholarship candidate, and thus avoid any discrimination or preference. Additionally, the Director submits the applications to the jury for evaluation and selection. Requirements will be verified through: transcripts/registration documents from universities, high school, plus a digital copy (by scanner) of an identification from Ecuador (the applicant’s, or their parents’ or grandparents,’ if they were born in the U.S.). Additionally, proof of community service will be verified through letters of completions from the organizations where applicants served.

The selection committee (the jury) is comprised of professionals and educators from various sectors, who evaluate all applications based on leadership, service to the community, and academic performance. The Director of the Program and the President of the Board of Directors receive the scores from the judges, and select the top 5 applicants as the winners of the scholarships.

The winners are announced and published in JUVE’s website and through press releases by October. The scholarship winners are notified by the second week of October. The official presentation of the scholarships is celebrated at a public event (Gala) in November of every year. The scholarship winners, the students who applied, sponsors, elected officials, the media, and members of the organization and of the community are invited to this Scholarship Recognition Gala.

STAFF AND ADMINISTRATION

  • Marco Andrade, Executive Director, will coordinate the project ” Ecuadorian Scholars Fund ” at JUVE and is responsible for the development, implementation and direction of this initiative.
  • Carlos Guevara, President of the Board of Directors, will support the Program Director with the selection of winners, and project execution.

EVALUATION:

The effectiveness of the program is evaluated through constant contact with the scholarship winners. Students are required to report their academic progress by submitting copies of documents from the university; such as the list of classes to be attended in the fall semester, and a progress report. A copy of the report card or unofficial transcript is requested at the end of the fall semester to verify that the student completed the semester and maintained a 3.0 GPA or higher.

SUSTAINABILITY:

Organizacion Juventud Ecuatoriana obtains donations through membership, sponsors, and community and fundraising events. Events create revenue through sponsorships from companies and institutions (public and private) interested in the opportunity to promote and support the scholarship fund. JUVE’s goal is to make of The Ecuadorian Scholars Fund a permanent fund, and to expand scholarship opportunities to a more diversified pool of participants from the immigrant community of the Tri-state area.

CONCLUSION:

Since its founding in 2007, Organizacion Juventud Ecuatoriana’s work has been able to accomplish its mission thanks to the cooperation of private donors, both individuals and small businesses, as well as with funds from membership dues and fundraising activities. The task has not been easy, but JUVE has gradually positioned itself within a select group of organizations that share similar goals and have been recognized in the Tri-state area of New York for their work.. Moreover, the organization is characterized by its focus on education and community service awareness.

The annual scholarship project, with the creation of the permanent patrimonial fund “Ecuadorian Scholars Fund,” is without a doubt a most ambitious and important project, not only for the organization but for the community as a whole. This importance is due mostly because its success has a long-term and direct positive impact in the life of those who will benefit in participating in the scholarship contest, and those who earn the scholarship.

Public and Private financial support has been absolutely necessary to keep this program running. The economic contribution of these institutions meet our goal of creating a permanent scholarship fund, thereby increasing the number of students who can benefit from this fund each year. Therefore, we urgently request your support and ask you to join our efforts to build strong professional to build a strong Ecuadorian community.

For information on how to participate in this project, please contact the Executive Director, Marco Andrade at mandrade@juventudecuatoriana.org, and the President, Carlos Guevara at cguevara@juventudecuatoriana.org.

MORE INFO:

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