KKIS has taken another leap forward to help the students of Playa del Carmen stay in school. With the aid of funding from our annual auction last March and many generous donations we selected 16 public high school students to assist. Public high school in Mexico is not free. There are school fees, state fees and transportation to pay, school supplies and uniforms to buy.
We talked with the Director of Education for Solidaridad who directed us to three public high schools where we were given lists of needy students, many more than KKIS could help. We chose students in financial need that were most motivated and all signed agreements stating that their grades would stay above 8.0 (10 being the highest). Seven students from CETMAR in Villas del Sol, six from CONALEP in Guadalupana and three from Bachilleres in El Centro.
The first meeting of the KKIS scholarship grantees and their mentors was held Saturday afternoon. Mentors are more mature young people who have finished a higher level of education, are working in Playa del Carmen and offered to volunteer their time. Many of them are from Rotaract, the Rotary Club of younger people. The mentors will meet with their assigned student each month at a coffee shop or on the school campus to speak of triumphs or problems, relate requests of school supplies to KKIS and receive an envelope containing their transportation allowance for the month.
The gathering started out pretty quiet, the kids were a little shy. Students sat on one side of the room with mothers, grandmothers and siblings and mentors sat on the other side. KKIS had tried to match mentors and scholars according to their interests and dreams for the future. We have one young lawyer partnered with a first year student desiring to study law. The mentors include a hotel manager, a dress designer, a small business owner and many others. As they paired up to meet each other, exchange phone numbers and set a date for next month’s meeting the volume increased and laughter was rang out. These mentors will be role models for students who have known hard times.
Donated backpacks containing school supplies and uniform shirts were given to each scholar from the KKIS Project. We wish them all the very best and will follow their progress through high school and beyond. Perhaps one day they too can be mentors for another group of KKIS scholars.