Thursday, October 14, 2010

how facebook is helping someone like francy

Why is a Carmen Pampa Fund donor pledging $1,000 for our Scholarship Partners Program if we can surpass 450 friends on our Facebook site by the end of October? 

It provides a worthwhile incentive to help Carmen Pampa Fund educate new people about the successful work of the College to provide a response to the poverty and educational inequalities facing people in one of Latin America's poorest areas--rural Bolivia. And, in the process of expanding our social network, we are raising money for our Scholarship Partners Program--a fund critical to the success of young men and women like Francy Quisbert.

Fourth-year Agronomy student Francy Quisbert. Her favorite classes are Microbiology, Entomology, and Biochemistry.

For 21-year-old Francy, the UAC-CP was the only chance she had to study at the college level.  And even then, without a scholarship the odds were stacked against the young woman who hails from a community in the mountainous Nor Yungas.

Despite the College's already subsidized costs (students pay $42 US a month for tuition, housing, and food), Francy's family--like most poor, rural bolivian subsistence farmers--was unable to support her financially. "I suffered a lot that first semester," Francy recalls. Without money, she was often forced to make the difficult decision of paying for tuition rather than eating. "There were many times when I only had a few cents to buy a container of yogurt to get me through the day."

With the help of UAC-CP classmates and staff members, Francy remained strong her first semester; she worked hard to earn a scholarship that would allow her to continue her studies. In the end, her hard work and perseverance paid off--she was awarded a scholarship beginning in her second semester.

The scholarship, funded by donations to Carmen Pampa Fund's Scholarship Partners Program and awarded by a scholarship committee at the College, provides for students like Francy who demonstrate academic merit, strong leadership skills, and extreme financial need. In return, scholarship students must complete 120 work-study hours per semester.

Now in her final semester of studies in the College's Agronomy Department, Francy is thinking about her thesis project (she plans to do an inventory of local insects) and post-graduation work. She is confident in her commitment to apply her professional knowledge and practical experience to help the people of Bolivia's rural area. "[My dad] has always known that, with my degree, there is a future."

Thanks to everyone who has helped to share the story of the College--its ability to respond to the needs and struggles of the poor through the power of higher education.  Because, in the process of raising awareness for our cause, you have also helped to raise money for the Scholarship Partners Program so that someone like Francy can have a college degree...and a better future.