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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA South gives $40K in scholarships

Courtesy+of+Sally+HolcombJorge+Ernesto+Espejel+Montes%2C+Mexican+consul+in+Douglas+and+Clint+Imholte+%28right%29+holds+up+a+giant+check+with+the+Mexican+Consulate+IME+Becas+funds+contribution+of+%2420%2C000+to+the+Education+Unidos+Fund.

Courtesy of Sally Holcomb
Jorge Ernesto Espejel Montes, Mexican consul in Douglas and Clint Imholte (right) holds up a giant check with the Mexican Consulate IME Becas fund’s contribution of $20,000 to the Education Unidos Fund.

The University South Foundation, Inc., and the Consulate of Mexico in Douglas, Ariz., increased the amount of financial aid and scholarships available to students of mainly Hispanic descent attending UA South.

“A couple of weeks ago, we gave out $40,000 worth of scholarships to 11 students,” said Melissa Silva, student services coordinator for UA South in Douglas. She created the Education Unidos scholarship fund after noticing that many students were not qualifying for scholarships. The scholarships are funded by the UA South Foundation, Inc., the Mexican Consulate and fundraising on behalf of UA South.

During her prior work with Hispanic students, Silva suspected that a language barrier might have affected their chances of academic success. After several failed efforts in trying to help students qualify for scholarships, Silva reached out to the UA South Foundation, which matched the funds 57 cents to the dollar.

Patricia Leyva, a senior studying government and public service, was among this year’s scholarship recipients. She said receiving the scholarship made her “teary-eyed.”

“I’ve seen the lack of opportunities the Hispanic/Latino culture has; … it’s very expensive,” Leyva said.

Leyva, a full-time mom with a 19-year-old son, stated the scholarship has provided her with a sense of security and personal worth. She also stated she had applied for the scholarship once before and is receiving it for the second time. Leyva expressed her gratitude to her adviser, Silva.

“If I can do it — and I am a 42-year-old single mom — anyone can do it,” Leyva said.

In previous years, the total funds available to Hispanic students amounted to $12,000, Silva said.

UA South Dean Jim Shockey added that they “look for ways to decrease the barriers for students.”

Shockey emphasized the importance of providing accessible, convenient and affordable education for students who enroll at UA South.

“Learning has become one of the greatest passions of my life,” said Alan Manquero, a senior studying organizational leadership and another recipient of the award. “The award gave me hope for the future.”

Manquero is an active member of the Douglas community and is currently employed by the city of Douglas.

“I feel I am  a totally different individual from the one who registered at UA two years ago; … I feel like I’m living the life I was destined to live now,” Manquero said.

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Follow Terrie Brianna on Twitter.

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