ACE – Adelante con la Educación
Liga MAC’s educational scholarship program, Adelante con la Educación (Advancing Through Education) or “ACE”, has been operating since 2004. The program provides assistance to students in good standing who are in jeopardy of leaving school because of financial difficulties. In 2012, more than 480 ACE students were enrolled in junior and senior high school or university.
In 2011, Liga MAC reached a milestone when the first 10 ACE scholarship students graduated from university. We are very proud of the enthusiasm and commitment ACE students demonstrate in reaching their goals; and of the many generous sponsors, mentors, volunteers, and government and community groups that have assisted in making the ACE program a model for increasing the quality of life for low-income families.
ACE ESL - English As a Second Language
The popularity of Liga MAC’s English as a Second Language (ESL) classes has been growing steadily since the course was initiated at the Centro de Apoyo in the fall of 2006. Retired Canadian school-teachers and Liga MAC volunteers Linda Briggs and Vivian Weldon began the experimental class with limited resources. The old adage, “if you build it, they will come,” rang true for the program. As the word spread the number of students participating in the ESL class grew, as did the teaching volunteers and supplies of books and materials.
Los Cabos’ economy is tourism-based and most jobs rely on a good command of English. Many ACE scholarship students majoring in tourism and hotel industry related programs want to master the language. English classes are offered in local public high schools, but are often limited in scope. Liga MAC’s ESL classes are offered year round to Preparatoria (high school) ACE scholarship students on Saturday mornings at the Centro de Apoyo.
Liga MAC’s volunteer ESL teachers say that leading the classes is highly rewarding and that the students are enthusiastic and very receptive! To volunteer as an ESL teacher, please e-mail Centro de Apoyo at email@example.com
ACE Math Classes
Advancement in Preparatoria (senior high school) depends on a passing grade in math and many Secundaria students entering “Prepa” were having difficulty with their math classes. The apparent need for math tutoring led Liga MAC to create a class for Secundaria (junior high school) ACE students.
Liga MAC volunteer Tony Lucero became our first Summer ACE math tutor with assistance from Liga MAC Board Member Aby Felix in the 2010 – 2011 school year. The classes were so successful that they continue to this day. In true “mano con mano” fashion, ACE university student Marcelino Sanchez, an Education major, also took a turn at leading these seasonal math tutoring classes.
Thanks to Liga MAC community volunteer teachers, Liga MAC continues to offer this course to our ACE students at the Centro de Apoyo Liga MAC!
ACE's Alas Program
While food and clothing satisfy basic needs, Liga MAC representatives soon found that a program of awareness and esteem building was in order to help ACE scholarship students attain confidence levels and attitudes required for success and reduce teen pregnancy rates.
Designed for female ACE scholarship students age 12 to 15, the Alas program was created in 2006 by Elva Haro, a compassionate local professional, Liga MAC volunteer and now Board Member. Alas, the Spanish word for “wings” was chosen in hope that the program would help these young women’s dreams take flight. Alas sessions are held on four consecutive Saturday mornings and vary in location and content from year to year.
Alas sessions include topics about educational opportunities, career options, sexual awareness and empowerment. Supported by Alas Committee members, Elva has helped organize field trips to local resort hotels and businesses like Costco. At each location, female staff members explain educational requirements and career opportunities. The young women of Alas have enjoyed presentations by a marine biologist; trips to the San Jose Organic Market to learn about environmental issues; and beauty treatments courtesy of Mary Kay Mexico.
The sensitive topics of abuse, sexuality and teenage pregnancy have been presented by local female doctors and by Montessori educator Heddy Villaseñor. The final Saturday morning session is generally a fun and challenging program that has included physical fitness activities on the beach and a sailing trip around Cabo San Lucas Bay aboard the Tall Ship Talofa, where the young women crewed in teams.
Alas creates opportunities for positive change for young women who, for lack of resources, may otherwise live with little hope of achieving their dreams.
ACE Community Service
Student commitment to community service activities is an integral part of the Adelante con Educación program. From anti-graffiti paint out campaigns and civic clean-ups to brightening the Centro de Apoyo’s inner walls with murals, ACE scholarship students must participate to fulfill program requirements.
Community service assignments are coordinated through our Centro de Apoyo and are often part of a “Mano con Mano” effort, partnering with individuals, other local non-governmental organizations and community groups. The work can be demanding but at community service events student spirit and camaraderie is high.
Through these activities ACE students have the opportunity to give back to the community that has given to them and learn to recognize the value of service in fomenting a fulfilling life.
To learn more about supporting Liga MAC’s ACE program, please use us at firstname.lastname@example.org