Laying the Groundwork for Growth - Annual Report 2010-11
September 15, 2011
During the 2010-2011 fiscal year, BECAS Foundation International experienced exciting growth and it’s scholars are reaping the benefits of the groundwork laid during it’s 2009 inaugural year. In our second year, we increased the number of scholars in Ecuador, provided additional support services, expanded our outreach efforts and increased the BECAS community here in the United States.
This past spring the Board had a strategic planning retreat. We are committed to supporting our current students through the duration of their education. To that end, we established a goal to maintain sufficient cash reserves to fund program costs for two years at their current level. The Board also articulated a desire to continue to expand our scholar base over time and to explore the possibility of extending our support to scholars through the public university program. We will pace our growth, adding additional scholarships as funding allows. We are pleased to announce that BECAS extended four additional scholarships, expanding the program to include twelve scholars for the 2011-12 academic year.
This past 2010-11 school year BECAS grew by 33% with two additional scholarships, for a total of eight students. BECAS welcomed Cynthia, Ronald and Alex. Cynthia joined second-year scholar Leo in the first grade. Ronald entered the second grade with second-year scholars Wendy and Virginia. Alex began seventh grade and second-year scholars, Edith and Willian, continued into the eighth grade. Jhulisa left the program and we wish her well as she continues her journey.
Beyond the Barrio
BECAS also introduced “Beyond the Barrio”, Designed to increase the scholars’ ability to succeed, Beyond the Barrio provides the students with basic health care, parent education, tutoring, and life skill classes. Social worker Liliana “Lili” de la Bastida facilitates the classes and works one-on-one with the scholars and their families. Once a month, parents attend Talleres para Padres, or Workshops for Parents, to discuss the difficulties and joys of raising children. Praising this class Wendy’s mother, Señora Teresa, said, “I learned to respect my children and companions and to have love for our children and the home.” The parenting classes have been a success. Lili works hard to ensure that both parents of each scholar attend the parent education classes and assume a primary role in supporting their child’s growth and progress as a BECAS scholar.
Health and well-being affect students ability to succeed within the classroom. As such, all scholars received physical exams, as well as, dental and vision care. New scholar Cynthia visited the dentist for the first time this year. She received extensive dental work and learned how to brush her teeth properly. BECAS provided two scholars, Edith and Willian, with eyeglasses.
Extracurricular activities were built into the program to enhance the scholars’ awareness of the world around them, build character and self-esteem, provide opportunities to challenge themselves and encourage them to grow into active community members. Scholars participated in community service once a month at a convalescent home. Edith shared her thoughts about visiting the convalescent home, “The visit to the elderly people home was very beautiful because we learned many things, especially to take care and love elderly people. I learned that when someone is old, they need lots of help.” After much hard work in their academics and volunteer activities, BECAS scholars celebrated the end of the school year with a field trip to the science museum in Quito.
Here in the U.S., BECAS welcomed a new member to the Board of Directors. Allison Mangiaracino joined in January 2011. She previously served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in southern Ecuador. Her projects included the creation of a youth leadership curriculum, a reproductive health program, and summer camps for rural youth. She is a wonderful addition to the board!
Last fiscal year, each scholar cost an average of $591.00. The chart to the right provides more detail. We raised a total of $7,361.00 through private donors. We spent a total of $5,056.00. Over 93% of our spendings went straight to the support of the scholars. At the end of the fiscal year, we had $18,204.00. in our banking account. We keep a large reserve relative to each year's cost, ensuring the program can be maintained at least two years if sufficient revenue is not raised. We also aim to increase enrollment each year and are pleased that in 2011-2012 BECAS added four scholars, for a total of twelve.