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Six young environmentalists receive scholarships from Programme for Belize Print E-mail
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Written by The Guardian   
Friday, 01 September 2017 00:00

Programme for Belize hosted 6 high school students at their office on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 for a short scholarship ceremony. The students hail from various parts of the Orange Walk district from Augustine Pine Ridge, Lemonal, Rancho Dolores, and San Carlos. Funds for the scholarships, valued at almost $4,000, are primarily resourced from birders in the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Their donations have allowed the scholarships to be awarded for the last 3 consecutive years and for each year, the performance from the students that have been benefitted has been satisfactory.

When asked how the scholarship recipients are chosen, Manager for Administration and Planning, Programme for Belize, Ramon Pacheco, said that students who live in the buffer community of the Rio Bravo Management Area are given the opportunity. Besides living in the area, students who apply are expected to show good performance in grades as well as have financial need.

Since 2015, the group has been the same except for one new student. Those five persons, Roel Romero, Kerwin Torres, Leeann Pott, Shirlyn Analee Arnold, and Julio Cesar Perez, were given phone calls instead of having to reapply. The new applicant, Aldair Chan, is a first year student at Muffles College. Chan will be attending the same school as Romero and Torress. Pott and Arnold, second and third formers, attend Belize Rural High School while Perez attends Belize Adventist School.

The students were each asked to sign a commitment letter in the presence of their parents which stipulates that besides maintaining good grades, they will submit a short report to Programme of Belize outlining their environmental activity for the year. The objective of the scholarship, according to Pacheco, is to give the children in the area equal opportunities at education and, hopefully, in their future careers.

Partial funding from the Massachusetts Audubon Society goes to a school tour. One school is taken on a tour of the Rio Bravo Reserve by Programme of Belize to educate the students.