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Apr 25, 2017

Rise Up for Youth Scholarships

Four students were selected for five hundred dollars scholarship each by Rise Up Belize. The non-profit based out of California was started by Joey Garcia who was born in Belize, but has lived in the U.S.A.  Rise Up Belize offers free professional development workshop for primary school teachers in Belize. The organization later expanded its services to offer teen leadership programme during the summers and scholarships to students.  Through fundraising efforts, crowd funding and donors, Rise Up Belize has been offering a small number of students each year the chance to continue their education through high school. News Five spoke with Garcia and the parent of the recipient Shantae Bailey, who received her scholarship today.

 

Joey Caroll Garcia

Joey Caroll Garcia, Founder & Exec Director, Rise Up Belize

“We don’t necessarily look for A students or B students, we often look for C students who just have a lot of drive, determination and passion and who just want to learn and improve their lives. So, over time we have served over a thousand Belizean students through our summer schools; rigorous summer programs and we have given away just a handful of scholarships away. They vary in amounts. Sometimes we pay for all four years of high school. Today, what we are doing we are giving away five hundred dollars scholarships to students who met certain criteria.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“How were these students selected for this particular scholarship?”

 

Joey Caroll Garcia

“Yeah these students were selected – the three students from Bishop Martin High School were selected by their principal and the other student from Wesley College were selected by a panel that were looking for particular things because she is getting a special award today. She is receiving the Helen Gabb Memorial Scholarship. So Helen Gabb was a pillar of the Methodist Church and an accountant and just a generous heart here in Belize City. So we wanted to honor her and named a scholarship after her.”

 

Tanya Cain

Tanya Cain, Parent of Scholarship Recipient

“I am a little surprised right about now. But I know she is a great person and she is doing well in school. So, it is still a surprise for me – for her to get a scholarship.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now, when we think of high school and the cost of education it is very expensive; now, what does this mean for you in terms of getting that little extra money to help her through school?”

 

Tanya Cain

“Well it is a much financial burden will be less for me and it will help me a lot, so I could put the money to something else.”

 

Joey Caroll Garcia

“We operate on a very small budget. I don’t take a salary for the work that I do. I do it out of my heart, so everything is done on a volunteer basis.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What does it mean for you? You know – born in Belize – moved away and now living in another country. What does it mean for you giving back to the children of the Belize and the city?”

 

Joey Caroll Garcia

“To give back to Belize keeps me connected to my roots and to me being connected to roots is so essential to my spiritual health as a human being. That is what it means to me – an opportunity to grow in love for this country – for what it is and what it is growing it to be and what it can be.”

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