Mexican students face many barriers to receiving a quality education. Poverty, gender inequality, and limited education budgets put students at a disadvantage. Fortunately, there are projects committed to offering Mexican children and youth the chance at a better education and a better life.

ICF is involved with numerous education projects in Tijuana, Todos Santos, and La Paz, among others. Here’s more on three education projects in Baja California that need your support to continue their important work in these deserving communities.

1. Fronteras Unidas ProSalud Órale Youth Employability Program

Órale is a common expression in Mexico. It means, “Come on,” or “Let’s do it.” This spirit of encouragement and initiative underpins the Órale Youth Employability Program.

In Tijuana, the program is run by Fronteras Unidas ProSalud, and is aimed at young people between the ages of 16 and 28 who are not employed or enrolled in any education or training. It offers a high-quality job preparation curriculum, builds professional development partnerships, and ensures job placement support through a seven-week workshop and mentoring model.

The program is based on a model developed in Ciudad Juarez, where a four-year program called Youth:Work Mexico trained and connected more than 2,000 young people with jobs. It created safe spaces for disadvantaged youth and prepared them for brighter futures through employment and self-employment. It also reduced gang involvement, as well as school repetition and desertion rates.

Now, after four years of implementation in Tijuana, more than 800 young people have completed the program, with 85% returning to school, securing employment, or both.The Órale program at Pro-Salud in Tijuana was recently recognized as the best youth-to-employment of it’s kind, perhaps because it is paired with Pro-Salud’s sexual and reproductive health program called Gente Joven. As a result, the Pro-Salud leadership was recently invited to present at the Aspen Institute, as well as to county and city officials from the City of Baltimore, Maryland.

2. The Palapa Society of Todos Santos’s New Learning Center

The Palapa Learning Center represents a new chapter in education for the residents of Todos Santos, and is one of the many ways the Palapa Society is bettering this community.

The Palapa Learning Center is the site of some of the Palapa Society’s current programs, including its community library, English classes for children and adults, and children’s arts and crafts. It’s also a certified public school for middle- and high-school students to receive a top-quality education based on a rigorous curriculum and access to resources such as a science lab, computers, and English classes as well as scholarships for students in financial need.

Students at the Palapa Learning Center share their vision of what they want from the school in the future.

The Learning Center provides everything children and youth need to learn and thrive, from its bilingual library with more than 9,000 books to its enthusiastic and committed teachers, who care deeply about their students’ education.

Originally founded in 2002, when they only offered English classes in a small home in Todos Santos, the Palapa Society has become a major educational hub  in the community. The organization remains steadfastly committed to the education and wellbeing of the Todos Santos community.

3. Enseña Por México

An affiliate of Teach For All, a global network for expanding educational opportunity, Enseña Por México envisions an educational transformation in Mexico. To work towards this vision, it creates, trains, and supports a network of leaders both inside and outside the classroom.

Currently, Enseña Por México reaches more than 60,000 students in eight regions of Mexico, including Baja California where ICF helped secure funding to begin work in La Paz in 2016. A key to their success lies in the quality of its teachers — Enseña Por México carefully selects only the best young people to participate in its programs as teaching professionals who commit to working for two-years in underserved communities and schools.

Additionally, through Enseña Por México’s one-on-one methodology, students develop critical independent learning skills but are supported and encouraged to transform themselves not only academically, but also personally through relevant contextual information and community service. Contact us to learn about ICF and Enseña Por México efforts to expand into the lower-income communities of Los Cabos in 2018!

Donate today to support these worthy causes. With your help, we can make a big change in Baja California.


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