Giving an economically disadvantaged youth the opportunity to study provides priceless satisfaction.
Just to see talented youths with 3.0 averages or higher and great academic potential is more than enough reason not to let youthful talent go to waste.
However, there are many cases we see daily where careers or studies are postponed or abandoned simply because there is not enough economic assistance to attend a university or purchase books.
In economic terms, the Permanent Scholarship Fund is attractive to donors for various reasons:
It's a mutual investment. The University System matches each dollar donated by individuals, families, businesses, or entities for contributions up to $100,000 and duplicates its donation for contributions that surpass $100,000. That means that this is not just a commitment by the donor, but by the University System as well.
It's a fund that generates its own income. This money remains intact and only its yield is used to grant scholarships, thus making it a perpetual fund. All the money donated by any individual, family, business, or foundation will remain in the coffers of the University System for life, allowing for funds to be constantly available to provide scholarships to future generations of students.
It's a personalized fund. Donors can choose the university institution where the money will be sent, as well as the academic area of preference. They also have the option to be part of the student selection process in evaluating prospective scholarship candidates. Individual donors and entities could also possibly have the opportunity to name a scholarship by submitting suggestions according to their particular interest.
It's an extended program. Donors who cannot make their contribution in a single payment can choose to make a scholarship promise and pay in installments over a period of five years.
Once an individual, family, business, or entity joins the Permanent Scholarship Fund, they are kept in constant communication with the University System.
An annual Donor and Scholarship Recognition event is also held, where all corporations, individuals, and foundations that have donated to the Fund, get to meet the scholarship recipients and their families, with a luncheon provided for the donors and students alike.
There is also a Presidential Dinner for donors, where a progress report is given on the scholarships and the investments made with the donated funds, along with letters, reports, and the Presidential Chronicle -- the official publication of the Ana G. Méndez University System President's Office.
In addition to the activities organized by the University System, the donor can also choose to foster a more personal relationship with the scholarship recipient. This has been the case with many businesses, where students have gained enriching workplace experience at the donor's site.
Many students also send letters to their donor or sponsor informing them of their academic progress and future plans.
The Fund helps the student with everything including tuition and books, and provides a monthly stipend for personal expenses as well. If the needs of the student are covered, there is an incentive to study. Over the past four years, the retention level of scholarship recipients has surprisingly reached 98 percent, with these students remaining in their academic programs and increasing their qualifications and average.
Going beyond Fund contributions, the impact on the lives of hundreds of young people is priceless.
Today it is surprising to see that there are still hundreds of young people who represent the first generation in their home to get a university-level education. At the Ana G. Méndez University System, these students have also represented a large part of our graduates - youths that have longed to surpass the achievements of the previous generation and have succeeded.
Thanks to the contributions received during the past five years, scholarships have been granted to more than 60 students with limited resources who appreciate the value of each dollar that is put in their hands:
"Thanks to your help I have obtained an excellent academic advantage and enough support to complete my studies to become a healthcare professional."
-- Alberto Reyes SantosÂ
"Students must overcome a number of barriers. God has given me the ability to do this with your help, which has been the light of my path. A thousand thanks, and may God bless you with prosperity and success. Â
-- Saúl Rivera CruzÂ
"Thanks to this benefit, I have been able to get the books and materials I needed. Now I can better use my time in carrying out my class assignments and making progress."
-- Pedro J. Batista García