Baja is an amazing place with so many generous and dedicated people. There is a small group that gives their heart and soul to enact real social change and break the cycle of poverty in Baja’s poorest communities. They know the key to this is education and building leaders in those communities who can drive that forward.
In late 1995 the first student of the Baja Scholarship Foundation (BSF) was identified. After a search for a “smart, dedicated student who was experiencing true financial hardship.” They found a girl named Alicia and the Baja Scholarship Foundation was formed.
It did not take long before Alicia's friends and neighbors found out about BSF. Soon after, “ready or not”, the BSF became an organization with a 501C3 status and a mission to serve the high potential students in the poorest communities.
They were not alone in this effort as other organizations were also involved in helping students with scholarships (Becas). However, BSF became unique by deciding that if they awarded a student a scholarship and that student maintained the high standards of academics and morals that BSF required, they would see them through their education, including university! This was not a “hand-out” but rather a true scholarship award to help build a better future for these impoverished communities.
Additionally, for the past five years, they have required every student to qualify as a certified English speaker, increasing their chances for success significantly in the frontera region of Baja California. Since that time, they have proudly graduated several engineers, nurses, teachers, architects, a chef graduate of the Culinary Institute of Mexico, several accountants, artists and more. And that first student? She became a doctor!
BSF urges their students to stay in Mexico and give back to the colonia they came from, and become the good neighbors that are so desperately needed throughout the world. Only two students have moved to the US with their degrees! To this day the BSF has between 40 and 50 scholarship students at any one time.
The BSF offers individual donors to become sponsors for a nominal contribution of as low as $250 per year. This will pay at least half of the total expenses of their student. In addition, BSF has several other fund-raising events. Thanks to the generosity of neighbors in Baja and friends north of the border, they have been changing the socioeconomic landscape in Baja for decades.
The Covid-19 virus is certainly presenting a new challenge with canceled events that they normally count on to raise money. Judie Kesson, the founder says ”We all know it takes a village, we need your help more than ever and we thank you for being such an important part of what we do.”
If you would like to be part of this powerful movement you can donate on the Baja Scholarship Foundation website.
Editor's Note: Many non-profit organizations that work in Baja have been deeply impacted by Covid-19. In an effort to drum up support, Baja Bound will be featuring a different non-profit every few weeks. In the meantime, please visit some of our friends in the links below and make a donation if you have the means to do so!