On Feb. 11 and 12, the Community Action Alliance’s Education Committee will present scholarship vouchers to twenty-nine high school students. One additional student is under evaluation for late addition to the 2022 class. The new class will include at least five new students to fill vacancies.
Eleven of our 2021 class of students had to do extra work during the three-week January special classroom session to try to pass classes to advance to the next level. This special session was established by the Education Ministry to try to make up for lost Covid-related class-time. Hopefully, all will be cleared to move forward when high schools resume in-person classes on February 17.
We also celebrated the December 2021 high school graduation of four of our students. Three of the four are continuing their education through university or technical school courses in 2022, and we wish them the best in those advanced studies.
Additionally, this 2022 scholarship class again includes one fourth-year University of Costa Rica social worker career student, Alisson, who will graduate in 2022. Alisson serves as the CAA Scholarship Program Administrative Intern, and has done an excellent job with our students, families, and teachers all while carrying a full course load in which she scored almost all 90’s or above! Alisson is also pursuing a second degree in Economics and Social Planning. We know that she will be well prepared to enter the workforce in a couple of years and contribute to improving life in Costa Rica.
Because of delays in getting the grades of students, we have had to delay our regular Academic Excellence Awards until later, but we feel sure that some of our regular straight-A students will still be in that position when we get those grades. Each will receive a special voucher redeemable for books at a local bookstore.
Over the past 10 years that we have been working on this project, a few photos might remind us of what we have helped to accomplish. I went back through my old photos, and I found a photo of the 2015 Scholarship Class with CAA and Education Committee Members.
This is another of my favorites—Jorge (in 4th or 5th grade in this photo), is now about to graduate high school. Lynette Lewis presented his scholarship award vouchers!
I regret that Covid protocols over the past two-plus years have made it impossible to hold large awards events, and therefore, we have lost a couple years of full class photos.
University Admission Frustrations! Some of our graduating students made excellent university admission scores but were still frustrated to learn that they were unable to get into their preferred university in their preferred major career. This is largely because of Covid delays in instruction—current university students have not been able to graduate on their scheduled timeline and that has reduced the number of new admission openings for certain majors in the three most desirous public universities. As in everything in this Covid environment, flexibility and adaptability are the traits needed to keep moving forward academically!
How We Are Responding! Education Committee Member Johanna Fernandez G. is organizing a Zoom session for later in February to provide an orientation to the 2022 expected class of high school graduates. This session will help the students and their families get focused on some of the quickly approaching deadlines for university entrance exams, and the admission and financial assistance applications that will be required for university admissions in 2023. As a former financial aid and admissions officer with UCR, San Jose, Johanna is well qualified to help these students prepare themselves and their families for the applications necessary for university admission. A better understanding of the admission process now could reduce frustrations later. Thank you, Johanna!
CAA expects to provide about $17,000 in direct educational support for 31 students in 2022. We will provide them with vouchers redeemable at local participating merchants for required uniforms, shoes and school supplies, and we will provide them with Covid safety supplies, assistance with special medical and counseling needs, funding of required school insurance policies as financially needed, and payment of the cost of university entrance exams. This level of educational support would not be possible without the generosity of our many faithful CAA and international donors. Thank you for supporting the educational dreams of these students—an investment in education for these students is an investment for life.