Why do over 25% of children in Belize stop going to school by age 12? Because secondary school isn’t free. That’s why Miriam Eberly, who formerly served with EMM in Belize, started a scholarship fund to help students get the education they need to achieve their dreams.
Miriam’s scholarship fund, called the Belize Evangelical Mennonite Church Scholarship Fund, provides $200 to $250 scholarships (the equivalent of 400 to 500 Belize dollars) to secondary students who attend Mennonite churches. The cost of secondary school in Belize varies widely, from around $300 per year to $3,000 (USD). When evaluating applications for the scholarship, Miriam takes financial need, Mennonite church attendance and participation, leadership potential, and educational excellence into account.
Each student sends a letter when they apply for the scholarship. Miriam has received letters from Deaf students, students whose homes don’t have electricity, and students who hope to become doctors to serve the Belizean people one day. “My goals are to graduate and then be able to go to Bible college. One day I also hope to become a missionary in India,” wrote one student named Sally Padilla.
After four years of running the scholarship fund almost entirely from her own savings, Miriam is beginning to hear from scholarship recipients who went on to pursue their goals. One female student was accepted to the University of Belize to study math, physics, and architecture. Another student is studying at a Bible school in Guatemala.
For Miriam, her scholarship fund is a way to invest in the future of a country she loves. Would you like to join her?
$15 helps a student afford transportation to school for one week
$50 helps a student purchase a secondary school textbook
$250 provides a student with a scholarship for a full school year