Experience has taught us that the single largest return on our charitable investment is education.

Vecinos Private Scholarship K-12

History

Beginning in 1999, Rancho Feliz constructed a 3½ acre affordable housing community. Known as “Vecinos Dignos sin Fronteras” (Worthy Neighbors without Borders), this visionary neighborhood houses approximately 150 people. It soon became apparent that the public school system was inadequate. Our Vecinos children were not realizing their full potential.

Solution – Scholarship Program

In answer to this challenge, Rancho Feliz formed an educational alliance with two fully accredited, private bi-lingual schools in Agua Prieta: Colegio Americano Anais for grades kindergarten, elementary and junior high and Colegio Benemerito de Las Americas for high school. The “Guardian Warrior” Private Scholarship Sponsor Program was born. We run our scholarship programs utilizing sound business principles.

“Guardian Warrior” Scholarship Sponsors include individuals, families, and businesses. Upon becoming a Sponsor, you will receive a photograph and biography of your Scholarship student. Throughout the year, you will receive grade reports and periodic letters written in English by your child.  Many of our Sponsorships have developed into lasting international friendships.

Results

This program averages 70 students per year. And the results are unprecedented. All Vecinos children now speak English and conduct their schoolwork on computers. Many have already graduated, attending higher education institutions in Mexico, Europe and the United States. Read More

Investment

Kindergarten – 10th Grade (12 years)
The Kindergarten – 10th grade scholarship investment is $2,400 per year (includes tuition, books, field trips, etc.). This tax-deductible donation can be paid in one lump sum or in monthly installments of $200.

High School (HS) (3 years)
The high school scholarship investment is $2,800 per year (includes tuition, books, field trips, etc.). This tax-deductible donation can be paid in one lump sum or in monthly installments of $233.

A child’s future is waiting for you! Click on a student’s name for a bio and how to sponsor.

7th: Esau

Kindergarten: Jesus

Kindergarten: Sebestian

4th: Luis

7th: Mia

5th: Keyla

2nd grade: Kamila

10th Grade: Manuella


“Guardian Warrior” Scholarship Sponsors:

  • Anderson, Mike & Percy: Santiago
  • Armstrong, Alison, Amy, Andrew, Derigan, Laura, and Pat: Kenya
  • Armstrong, Jim & Jo-Ann: Maria
  • Armstrong, Rob & Wendy: Zuemy
  • Beerling, John & Lisa: Alexa
  • Blom, Jeff & Penny: Dulce
  • Bracken, Deborah and Doug: José
  • Bucca, Mike & State Farm Insurance: Addiel
  • Camberg, Kerry & Kevin: Cosme
  • Costello, Kathleen: Victoria
  • Courtney, Randy & Marcelina Potter: Aquetzallí
  • Davis, Zoe: Marcia
  • Dixon, Jerry & Marjorie: Yazid
  • Dorrance, Jacquie & Bennett: Angelique
  • Dorrance, Jacquie & Bennett: Darian
  • Dorrance, Jacquie & Bennett: Delanny
  • Dorrance, Jacquie & Bennett: Hulmer
  • Dorrance, Jacquie & Bennett: Kenai
  • Dorrance, Jacquie & Bennett: Luz
  • Dorrance, Jacquie & Bennett: Manuel
  • Dorrance, Jacquie & Bennett: Mauricio
  • Dorrance, Jacquie & Bennett: Valeria
  • Dorrance, Jacquie & Bennett: Vania
  • Dorrance, Jacquie & Bennett: Yezli
  • Evans, Steve and Ardie: Valentina
  • Falkner, Emily, John, & Rachel and Tommy Schwall: Ángel
  • Falkner Family : Dara
  • Falkner Family : Luz
  • Gillenwater, Elizabeth: Dariana
  • Gillenwater, Gil & Izzy Hino: Mia
  • Gillenwater, Todd & Nancy: Michelle
  • Gillenwater, Troy: Andrés
  • Grace, Chris & Kathy: Alan
  • Green, Julie in Memory of Highly Falkner : Ivana
  • Hannay, Craig & Carrie: Delan
  • Hobin, Mike & Mary : Andrea
  • Hobin, Mike & Mary: Julian
  • Hobin, Mike & Mary: Valeria
  • Hobin, Mike & Mary: Ximena
  • Jannenga, Heidi & Ava: Mia
  • Johansen, Jacki & Kevin: Ximena
  • Kapala Brown, Jean : Jaasiel
  • Kastre, Norma: Marian
  • Klopfer, Alex & Sherry: Alexa
  • Leonard, Nancy: Daniel
  • Mahoney, Pat: Jose
  • Marlin, Elaine & Doug: Dylan
  • Marlin, Elaine & Doug: Kendra
  • Martindale Family : Jared
  • McCrady, Mac & Jean: Carlos
  • McCrady, Mac & Jean: Daolanny
  • McCrady, Mac & Jean: Denisse
  • Miller Family : Gabriel
  • Miller Weber Kory LLP : Carlos
  • Moses, Marvin and Susan: Abraham
  • Moses, Marvin and Susan: Samuel
  • Moses, Susan & Marvin: Samantha
  • Moses, Susan & Marvin: Santiago
  • Musulin, Michael & Linda: Kassandra
  • Neill, Ron & Ann Harlan : David
  • Neill, Ron & Ann Harlan : Victoria
  • Next Generation Philanthropists : Diego
  • Paul, David: Karlos
  • Reynolds, Cody: Jose
  • Russ Lyon Charitable Foundation : Aaron
  • Schust, Christy & Richard: Mariann
  • Schust, Christy & Richard: Sofía
  • Seymore, Julie & Kimo: Josue
  • Sherman, Jeff & Mandy: Damian
  • Sherman, Jeff & Mandy: Flor
  • Singhal, Uma: Chelsea
  • Soderberg, John & Myra Shutt: Alisa
  • Stillwater, Shailaa & William: Fernanda
  • Stillwater Family & Friends : Ximena
  • Stirrat, Michael & Shelby: Jennifer
  • Tatarek, Michael & Lisa Nicodemus: Osvaldo
  • Venne, Nancy: Leilani
  • Venne Family : Marco
  • Williams, Phil & LuAnn Williams and their daughters: Tennille & Elisa: Valentina
  • Wittmann, Michael & Leslie: Eithan
  • Wittmann, Michael & Leslie: Luis
  • Wittmann, Michael & Leslie: Victoria

Vecinos University Scholarship Program

For more information about university students available for sponsorship, contact Program Director, Claire Bashaw at [email protected]

Quality Education

Many of our Vecinos students graduate from our “Guardian Warrior” high school scholarships and are eager to continue their education. Fortunately, the educational quality of state universities in Mexico is high. Our students are in programs such as engineering, education, business and nursing. In order to stay in the program, they are required to keep minimum grade point averages.

Return on Investment

This tax-deductible donation, of $4,500/year for 4.5 years, can be paid in full or in monthly $375 installments. This annual donation covers the yearly educational and living expenses for one college student. Sponsors receive photographs, biographies, grade reports and periodic correspondence written by the students in English. Many of our students and their sponsor have developed lasting international friendships.

Paying It Forward

University Scholarship recipients are required to fund an additional Rancho Feliz scholarship upon their graduation. This “Pay-It-Forward” program compounds your educational investment.

For a complete document outlining the program policies, volunteer requirement, parent participation, scholastic requirements, etc. follow this link: University Scholarship.

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Bright Futures Scholarship Program


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“If you want to lift up humanity, empower women. It is the most comprehensive, pervasive, high-energy investment you can make in human beings.” – Melinda Gates

Bright Futures is a Rancho Feliz program forged over 30 years of experience providing educational opportunities for underprivileged children. We accomplish this by providing high school and university scholarships and one-on-one encouragement to develop academic, career and lifetime goals. 

The Issue – Education of Girls in Mexico:

As young females, particularly in patriarchal cultures, their educational aspirations are shattered and the generational cycle of hopelessness surges onward. Statistics for girls in Mexico:

  • Nearly 25% of all Mexican girls under the age of 18 are married or living in an informal union
  • 10% of the girls under 15 are married
  • Worldwide Mexico has the 8th highest number of child marriages
  • Mexico has the highest rate of teen pregnancy of any OECD country (36 member countries, Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development)

Educating Girls Results In:

  • Self-esteem and the tools to make responsible decisions
  • Destroying culturally imposed “glass ceilings”
  • Reduction of teenage pregnancy
  • Better nutrition, education and family support
  • More productive lives raising the standard of living for children, families & communities
  • Reduced rates of child marriage
  • Reduced domestic and sexual violence
  • A stronger and more vibrant economy

Program Elements:

This is strictly a merit-based platform. Girls apply and are interviewed for a Bright Futures scholarship. Once accepted, the girls will be paired with mothers from our Vecinos neighborhood for ongoing support and mentorship. The scholarship includes English tutoring, workshops, and an annual Bright Futures summit featuring former graduates and successful women from both sides of the border. By showing the girls what’s possible they can better shape and reach their goals for academic and lifestyle success.

High School Sponsors:

Bright Futures high school scholarship investment is $1,000 per year for 3 years. Sponsorship includes annual summit weekend and bi-annual update report on the scholarship students. Annual summit weekend will be held in Agua Prieta where sponsors will have the opportunity to meet the students and families.

University Sponsors:

Bright Futures University provides higher education scholarships to the Bright Futures high school students. This scholarship funds the tuition to two very reputable private and public universities in Agua Prieta—each offering very different fields of study. The financial support received will fund tuition, registration, books and other academic materials, along with ongoing mentorship and mental health resources, and weekly English classes. Upon becoming a sponsor you will receive a photo and personal letter from your student, along with grades and periodic communication.

  • Private School Sponsor: $2,500 per year
  • Public School Sponsor: $1,000 per year

Return on Investment (ROI):

We believe, and statistics confirm, that investing in girls is the most efficient development investment there is. It is estimated that:

  • The ROI on investing in girl’s education is 600%.
  • Educating one girl touches the lives of at least 6 others and all their future generations in a geometric progression with no logical end.
  • The additional of one year of secondary education (high school) correlates with as high as a 25% increase in wages later in life.

Bright Futures works – Join us ­- Impact a life today!

 

Team US:

  • Leslie Wittmann, Volunteer Program Director
  • Claire Bashaw
  • Marjorie Dixon
  • Veronica Estrada
  • Sally Falkner
  • Kim Woodhouse

Team Mexico:

  • Carmen Gomez
  • Lorenia Ley
  • Lucy Quijada
  • Cecilia León
  • Patty Ortiz
  • Anet Villegas Del Angel
  • Litay Villaescusa Romero

Sources:

  1. Wooden, Q., Montenegro, C., Nguyen, H., Onagoruwa, A.,July 2018, Missed Opportunities: High Cost of Not Educating Girls, The World Bank.
  2. Blasting, A, 3/7/17, Women’s Day Tip: For a 600% ROI, Invest in Educating Girls, Huffpost.
  3. Preston, D., 2017, Investing in Girls, Education in Mexico, Hispanics in Philanthropy.
  4. Roberts, E., 2012, The Educational Gender Gap in Latin America: Why Some Girls Do Not Attend School, JournalQuest.
  5. Summers, H., 5/2/17, Mexico’s Lost Generation of Young Girls Robbed of Innocence and Education, The Guardian.
  6. The Borgen Project, 5/27/18, Girls Education in Mexico.

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Success Stories

A Good Investment

Educated people educate their children – who educate their children – and on and on. In 15 generations, a modest investment in one child’s education multiplies into 33,000* educated people (*based on two children per family). This compounding math snowballs forever. We call this charitable leverage.

Our programs work. In the three student examples below we have sown the seeds for an endless legacy of education.

 

Erika
Nayeli Ruiz
Suecia Alvarez
Reyes Zagaste, Jr.
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