Mexican Consulate awards $7.5K for IME Becas program at AWC
YUMA — The Consulate of Mexico in Yuma awarded the AWC Foundation with $7,500 for the IME Becas program during a check presentation event on July 20. The AWC Foundation is seeking to match the grant through fundraising efforts to offer 15 one-thousand-dollar scholarships for students. Currently, the AWC Foundation is $2,500 away from its goal after receiving a $5,000 donation from Nieves Riedel of Riedel Construction.
IME (Institute of Mexicans Abroad) Becas (Scholarships) is a program of the Government of Mexico that seeks to expand educational opportunities for Mexican students and those of Mexican origin living in the U.S. The fellowship program specifically aims to help low-income students earn their college degree.
In addition to the check presentation, AWC Foundation Chief Operating Officer Laura Knaresboro and Consul Dulce Maria Valle Alvarez also signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the event to continue their partnership for the 2023-2024 school year. The strong collaboration between the AWC Foundation and the Consulate of Mexico in Yuma was first established in 2016. Since that time, the IME Becas program, in conjunction with the AWC Foundation, has awarded $118,000 in scholarships.
“We appreciate our partnership with the Mexican Consulate in Yuma. Each year they provide funds that support the academic development of Mexican students and increases their opportunities to successfully earn a degree,” said Knaresboro.
IME Becas directly benefits students who are currently enrolled in a full-time degree program at AWC.
“I feel honored and ecstatic to be a recipient of this scholarship,” said AWC student Blas Carlos Gonzalez. “This is my first scholarship, and to me, this is a sign of encouragement to continue furthering my education. I am excited and thankful for the opportunity.”
Gonzalez has been a part-time student at AWC since 2017 and will start as a full-time student in the fall. A business major, Gonzalez plans to earn his associate degree by 2025 and hopes to continue his education to receive his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Human Resources.
“This scholarship will help fund my education with the materials I need for my future endeavors. Investing in a degree isn’t cheap or easy, so receiving this scholarship will alleviate some of the stress that comes with finances,” said Gonzalez. “Thank you to the AWC Foundation and IME Becas for helping me and giving me a chance to better myself. I hope to give back to my community when I finish my career path the same way the AWC Foundation and IME Becas have to me.”
The road to pursuing an associate degree has been a difficult one for Gonzalez. After his grandmother passed away, he took a break from college to grieve her loss. It was also during that time that his parents were going through a divorce and his father had to use funds he had saved up for his son’s college to pay for lawyer expenses and court fees. Unable to pay for his classes, Gonzalez began working at Albertsons and has been working there ever since.
“In life, I faced many obstacles and challenges that deterred me away from college, but I made sure to stay strong and keep trucking forward,” he said. “If I had to give any advice to future students it would be – don’t get discouraged when things take too long. When cutting a tree, it’s better to chip away at it than to not attempt to cut it at all.”