Since its inception nearly a dozen years ago, the Women to Women Fashion Show organization has made supporting education a priority. After the 2014 final accounting report made by the treasurer, the FS Grant Sub-committee voted to use 70% of event proceeds to sponsor university level scholarships for area young women. The subcommittee also decided to reach out to current Conalep and prepa (high school) graduates for the first time. The immediate student response was amazing! After reviewing the completed student application packets- which include transcripts and letters of recommendation- the individual met for a personal interview. Lastly, the selected young ladies were notified by email letter that outlined their award. For 18 Jaltemba Bay families, receiving notice of the FS scholarship was the answer to that family’s prayer, and the next step towards a better future for eighteen talented young ladies. For the majority of the women applicants, many are the first in their family to even dream of going to university and having a career. Judging by the ambitions and intellect of this generation, Jaltemba Bay is not going to stay working class: it will soon embrace middle class values and goals.
After receiving the award notice, Jacqueline Munoz wrote, “Thank you for the confidence you (FS Committee) have placed in me.” Another new FS grant recipient, Laura Ayon said, “Thank you so much! My family and I appreciate the support with all of our hearts!” One applicant, a non-traditional student, 30 year old Ana Uribe (left) was so overwhelmed at being chosen, she couldn’t stop crying, “I will do everything I can to deserve this award…. I had to work and save for ten years to first begin university, but with three children it is impossible for me to continue my studies without help.” In addition to working five days a week and being a fulltime university student, Ana has a perfect 10 of 10 grade average for her first year. Being able to help a deserving lady like Ana makes one so proud to be a part of the Fashion Show scholarship team.
How They Qualify: In order to apply for a Women to Women Fashion Show Educational Grant, applicants complete a packet that includes the most recent official transcript, faculty letters of recommendation; family economic data; and a personal essay that explains the student’s goals and dreams (in Spanish and English). All aplicants- females only- must reside in Jaltemba Bay area, have a superior academic record, and demonstrate financial need. The last phase is a personal interview in which her poise and maturity can make a difference.
As a resident of our small, rural community, the committee knows that a huge expense for all the students is travel/housing costs to go where the higher education facilities are located. That’s why FS awards are technically ‘educational grants’ as opposed to a scholarship; these awards cover ancillary expenses not just tuition.
What makes these young ladies stand out is their motivation, and the desire “to have a better life” through education. Another common characteristic of this year’s new applicants is that they all are the first in their family to go to university! The committee is so impressed with the scope of this generation’s dreams, and the guts to pursue them. More than half of the young ladies have already worked jobs throughout high school; they realize that something worth having doesn’t come easy. It is an honor for Fashion Show to be able to assist such exceptional young women. The impact of eighteen residents earning university degrees is far-reaching; Jaltemba Bay is moving towards being middle class.
Within the 18 FS sponsored students there is a wonderful array of study being pursued: two pre-med; two pediatric med; one architect; two nursing; three physical therapy; four business areas (public accounting, economics; one graphic design; one graduating teacher; one future lawyer; and one tourism management.