Education Is Economic Development

Project Amigo in District 5110!

Many of you already know and love Project Amigo. Many of you fell in love with this scholarship program the first time you went to Cofradía de Suchitlán in Colima, Mexico. You know that scholarships turn dreams into careers.

Project Amigo proves that education is economic development with every high school and university graduate. For hundreds of students in this rural agricultural community, a scholarship is the only difference between the backbreaking work of cutting sugarcane or harvesting blackberries and becoming a nurse, doctor, teacher, lawyer, graphic designer, architect, business expert, or IT specialist. Students choose their own majors but are required to maintain an 8.5 out of 10 GPA as well as ten hours of monthly community service.

But Project Amigo doesn’t just reimburse families for transportation, tuition, fees, uniforms, and school supplies, although scholarships do cover that.

Recently, three professors from the University of Colima completed research on why Project Amigo’s matriculation rate was so high, significantly higher than the national average. They found that the “wrap-around” support of multiple programs and services helped students overcoming generational poverty to develop time management skills, cope with stress, navigate relationships, and other valuable life skills. Students are able to access weekly homework clubs at one of four educational centers and staff psychologists are available for a wide variety of support and skill-specific workshops.

After 30 years of volunteer service weeks and scholarship sponsorships, big-hearted believers in education have helped more than 1,000 students graduate from high school and more than 100 students graduate from university. Several graduates also completed Master’s degrees.

You are invited to have dinner with Project Amigo’s Dora Zúñiga at the Rotary Club of Eugene Metropolitan this Tuesday, April 25th, at 6 pm Pacific at The Davis Restaurant in downtown Eugene to hear the latest updates and to find out how you can get involved.

We will also hear from seven Metrotarians who recently went to Colima to partner with students and teach English for a week.

And you are welcome to join your friends at the Eugene Southtowne club on Thursday, April 27th, at noon. They will also be hosting a Project Amigo presentation with Dora at their new location, the Eugene Mission.

Comment below for Metro’s permanent Zoom link if you’d like to join us online Tuesday night.

Image description: Dora Zúñiga smiles at the camera. She is wearing a red blouse and pearl earrings. Her black curly hair is pulled up and back and she is wearing metal-framed glasses.


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