Barron High School Expands

Due in part to FOB’s efforts to expand high school attendance in the town of Barron, the Mexican government has extended a program providing start-up aid to rural communities like Barron. Education past the eighth grade is not mandated by the government, so rural communities often lack the facilities to educate the graduating 13 year-olds, assuming they will turn immediately to field work, motherhood or other manual labor. In Barron, this is not so; not anymore.

Last year, the State authorities in Culiacan provided a principle, a few teachers and a space in which to educate them at the ninth grade level. With matching funds provided by the parents of Barron and FOB, the Sinaloa Department of Education then built a single room structure and called it a school. And now, due to efforts on the part of the school principal, Ana Cecelia, fundraising has begun to transform the dilapidated residence next door into a school annex. Thanks in part to the cash donation from the nearby Estrella del Mar resort, a result of their annual charity golf tournament, work began to convert a three room abandoned home into a place of learning.

Much progress has been made. Two more classrooms have been added in addition to an office for Ana Cecelia and a fully equipped computer laboratory. The classrooms still need to be finished, the roof must be tiled before the summer rains begin, an air conditioning system is almost a necessity during the fall semester and the security system must be updated. In all, about $15,000 USD needs to be raised to complete these tasks and provide the students of Barron a safe and reliable educational experience.

Because the 2017 eighth grade graduating class now has the option of attending a quality school without traveling into Mazatlan daily, the FOB high school scholarship program has been eliminated. Our current crop of scholarship students will continue to attend their current schools, although seven high schoolers and two university students will graduate this year, having maintained at least “B” average throughout their academic careers. Most maintain averages closer to “A+”. This leaves 24 high school and ten university students in the program for next year. Applications for additional university scholarships, five in all, will go out at the end of May. The completion of the Barron high school will allow Friends of Barron to concentrate on sending deserving young adults on to a university or vocational curriculum that will benefit themselves, their families and their community.

Obviously, funding for these programs is of prime necessity. Please visit our CrowdRise page and donate money to achieve this goal.

Moving Forward

FOB CANAM is preparing to distribute applications for next year’s scholarship students. The 2013-2014 school year will see applicants from eligible students from EDM employee families who do not live in Barron as well as the Barron secondary school graduating class. Additionally, we will be offering University scholarships to some of our own graduating seniors who have been in the program for the past three years. This group will be submitting their exit essays next month; they have been asked to rewrite their original application essays so we can see how they have matured and expanded their horizons. We look forward to sharing these with you. Our fund raising efforts so far have met or exceeded our expectations and we look forward to the the continuing support of our extended EDM “family” as well as the most welcome and appreciated donation made by Estrella del Mar (Playa Construction) through its Charity Golf Tournament, staged last January here in paradise!

Back to School Time!

The 2012-2013 academic year has begun and our 35 scholarship recipients are busy studying, trying to maintain their grade point average so they might receive their stipend for the first semester. Qualified students will get MXN $2000 pesos on November 15 (the first of three payments) when they present their certified grades to our administrators. FOB CanAm is pleased to announce that we have expanded the scholarship recipient pool to include all EDM employees, both workers and administrators who do not live in Barron. In a special outreach, Kris McGuire spoke before the manager’s meeting in October to announce our expansion and explain the rules. EDM’s HR Administrator Tamara Fraire was our point-person to distribute and receive the completed applications. They were due November 1 and eight applications came in. Of those eight, all were qualified and have been accepted into the program.

Our total number of scholarship students stands at 35. Of those 35, eleven have been adopted by EDM residents and/or friends of EDM residents; eight by our friends and neighbors here and three by non-EDM owners. Please click on the “Adopt-A-Student” tab at the top of this page to review the incoming students and read their heartfelt essays. Twenty-four students still need your personal attention.

Scholarship Program Update

2010 – 2011 School Year Scholarship Winners (the original group)

In May of 2010, scholarships were awarded to 15 Barron secondary school graduates. The scholarships each amounted to $10,000 MN and were to provide support for these students to attend preparatory school in Mazatlan. Five payments of $2,000 MN each were to be made to the parents of these students at regular intervals throughout the school year. Students had to present acceptable grades and attendance records to receive payments. Of the original 15, two students were dropped from the program in November, 2010 for lack of adequate grades. At the end of 2010 – 2011 school year, six of the 13 students were selected, based on grades and attendance, to continue on the scholarship program for the 2011 – 2012 school year. Of the remaining seven students, four were dropped from the program; two had inadequate grades and two got married and dropped out of school. The last three students had C+ averages for the 2010 -2011 school year and were placed on probation for the first quarter of the 2011 -2012 school year. If they can bring their grades up to a B average by November, 2011, they will be retained in the program.

Scholarships for this group are worth $6,000 pesos MN, paid in three installments (Nov 15, 2011, Feb 15, 2012, and May 15, 2012). As always, the Scholarship Committee will approve each payment based upon grades and attendance records.

2011 – 2012 School Year Scholarship Winners

In May, 2011, the Scholarship Committee received 29 applications from Barron secondary school graduates. Eight students were selected for scholarships based on their grades, attendance records and the quality of their application and essay. The value, payment procedures and schedules for these scholarships are the same as for the original students, described above. All students from the original group were adopted by scholarship donors. The eight new scholarship winners are hoping for your continuing support. Please go to the Adopt-A-Student tab (at the top of the page) to review the biographical information for our new scholarship winners. Friends of Barron thanks you for your past support.

2011-2012 Scholarship Program Update

The Friends of Barron sponsored scholarship program for high school students living in Barron has begun. Applications for new students have been distributed and will be due back May 6, 2011. At that time the selection committee will begin deliberating and will choose ten new candidates. Last year’s thirteen scholarship winners’ grades and attendance records will also be reviewed at this time and their scholarships conditionally renewed.

Special thanks go to our dedicated parent/teacher committee (Laura Isabel Zambada Aguirre, Maria de Refugio Velarta and especially Manuel Rodriguez Lopez) for their continued efforts throughout the school year to administer and maintain the program. Our thanks also go out to all of the donors who adopted Year One students. Their names and associated students can be found on the “Adopt-A-Student” page (just click the Adopt-a-Student tab at the top of this page). If you are interested in adopting a Year Two student or renewing your commitment to Year One students, please let us know immediately.

On another note, the parent/teacher committee sponsored a picnic for the Year One scholarship students at Don Manuel’s ranch last week. The committee met with the students and their parents and the students presented personal letters addressed to each of their donor parents. The letters are now being translated and will be distributed to each of the donor parents in the coming week.

If you are interested in reading the English version of the scholarship application and the program description and rules, just scroll down. We have two sets of each as the Year One Students are governed differently than the Year Two students. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please contact Dale Lyster ( or Dick McGuire (

Junior High School
Prof. Juan Rodolfo López Monroy
Principal: Laura Elizabeth Zambada Aguirre
Head of Parent/Teacher Committee: Manuel Rodríguez López

High School Scholarship Program For Year One Students

Program Description and Instructions

1. Value of each scholarship; $6,000 MN for the 2011-2012 school year; Up to 10 scholarships available.
a. The scholarship funds will be paid to the parents of the students three times beginning November 15, 2011; parents of each student will receive 3 payments of $2000 pesos each; 15 Nov 2011, 15 Feb 2012 and 15 May 2012.
b. Continuation of the scholarships and payments throughout the school year will depend on the students’ attendance and grades during the previous months. Students must maintain at least an 8.0 grade average and a 90% attendance record.
c. To receive scholarship payments, the parents of the student will be required to present proof of attendance and the grades to the Committee.

2. Qualifications and Selection of winners
a. To be eligible for a scholarship, the applicant must have a grade average of 8.0 and an average attendance of 90% for his/her last year of middle school.
b. The Selection Committee will consist of the Director, one teacher at the junior high school plus one of the members of the parent/teacher committee. No selection committee member can have a son/daughter that is eligible for a scholarship.
b. Applications will be accepted until May 6, 2011 at noon. The winners will be notified no later than June 1, 2011.

High School Scholarship Program
Year Two
(2011-2012 School Year)
Program Description and Instructions

1. Value of each scholarship; $6,000 MN for the 2011-2012 school year.
a. The scholarship funds will be paid to the parents of the students three times beginning November 15, 2011; parents of each student will receive 3 payments of $2000 pesos each; 15 Nov 2011, 15 Feb 2012 and 15 May 2012.

b. Continuation of the scholarships and payments throughout the school year will depend on the students’ attendance and grades during the previous months. Students must maintain at least an 8.0 grade average and a 90% attendance record.

c. To receive scholarship payments, the parents of the student will be required to present proof of attendance and the grades to the Committee.

d. The committee will consist of three people; the head of the parent/teacher committee, Mr. Manuel Rodríguez López, the principal of the middle school in Barrón, Mrs. Laura Isabel Zambada Aguirre and one of the middle school teachers, Mrs. Maria de Refugio Velarta.

Application for Scholarship
High School – Mazatlan
A. Basic Information:
1. Name of Student: _________________________
2. Age: _________
3. Address:

4. Names of Parents:

5. Telephone Number: __________________(or other point of contact)

B. B. References: Names and telephone numbers of two adults (not family) from Barrón who know you and can comment on your character and behavior:
C. Activities outside of school (sports, hobbies, etc)
D. Which prep school do you plan on attending?
E. Qualifications
Grades and attendance records from the last year of junior high (attach a copy).
Explain why you want to attend prep school.
When you finish prep school, what do you want to do?
Prepare an essay (at least 300 words) explaining your aspirations for the future. (Attach your essay to this application).

Project Update

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM : The 2010-2011 school year scholarship program to provide 50% of the cost to send 15 Barron kids to preparatory school (high school) in Mazatlan began in August, 2010. Each scholarship is worth $10,000 MX payable in five successive installments throughout the school year. Each successive payment requires students and parents to present grades and attendance records to the parent-teacher committee. We are now half-way through the school year and of the 15 students that started the program in August, 13 remain and are producing good grades and attendance. Two students were dropped from the program in October 2010 because they failed to present grades and attendance records. The parent-teacher committee will evaluate final grades and attendance records at school year end to decide which students are eligible to continue on the program for the next school year. The success of our fund raising efforts will determine whether we will be able to fund the students already in the program and accept new applications from this years’ secondary school graduating class.
CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS; Secondary School: Last year, FOB helped the Barron secondary school raise $25,000 MX to build a new computer classroom. The Mexican Government matched the $25,000 pesos for a total of $50,000 MX. Work began in July, 2010. Foundations and walls were completed before the funds ran out. FOB is again helping the secondary school raise another $25,000 MX by March 15, 2011 with the hope of getting another government match. With the next $50,000 MX, we hope to see the roof and floor completed so that the space, although not ready to be a computer classroom, will at least be usable as an instruction classroom in 2012. If fundraising goes as planned, the computer labs will be fully equipped and operational in 2013.
Kindergarten School: The Barron Kindergarten is overcrowded to the point that the principal had to give up her tiny office as a classroom. The principal now conducts her business under a tree in the schoolyard. The parents of the kindergartners raised $22,000 MX in cash and materials to begin construction of a new classroom. This was enough to lay the foundations and put up the walls, but not enough to finish the project to the point where a classroom is usable. The parent-teacher committee appealed to FOB for assistance to finish the project and we agreed to commit $20,000 pesos to the effort. This amount will get them a roof and a floor and make the classroom usable (if it doesn’t rain). Meanwhile, they are looking at ways to raise more money for doors, windows and electrical wiring.
FUNDRAISING: During the period January 2010 – January 2011, FOB raised $322,000 MX from the following sources:
Individual donations : 56%
Charity Golf Tournament: 22%
Dinner & Silent Auction: 17%
50/50 Super Bowl Draw: 5%
Fundraising this year is off to a much slower start with individual donations standing at about $15,000 MX. No commitment yet from the Charity Golf Tournament (we are hopeful that this will surpass last years’ generous donation), $8000 MX from the 50/50 Draw and hopes for a successful Fiesta Dinner and Silent Auction on March 5th, 2011. As always, your generous support of Barron’s kids is greatly appreciated.

Fall Progress Report

Scholarship Program
With the recent generous donation of $9600 pesos by Sonny Wong, we have now raised almost $97,000 pesos towards our goal of $150,000 pesos to fund the 2010-2011 scholarship program to send 15 Barron students to preparatory school in Mazatlan. Thanks so much for your generosity.

Each of 15 student parents received scholarship payments of $2,000 pesos in August and October of 2010. Parents are required to present grades and proof of attendance for their students before payments are made. The next payments will be distributed 15 Jan 2011.

Computer Classroom
Friends of Barron donated nearly $24,000 pesos toward construction of a new computer classroom at the secondary school. The total budget for this project is estimated to be around $250,000 pesos. The Barron community (including the FOB contribution) and the Mexican Government match amounted to about $100,000 pesos in funding for this project for 2010. The money was used to complete foundations and walls for the new classroom. Fundraising will continue for this project in 2011.

The library, located in the Barron primary school, opened to the public in March, 2010. FOB funded a 6 month position for a librarian to maintain a regular schedule to keep the library open outside of school hours. In December, we will review the usage and public interest in the library.

Scholarship Program Update

The Friends of Barron Scholarship Committee, in cooperation with the Barron Secondary School, is currently putting the finishing touches on the application form. The baseline survey to establish the degree of need within the community has been completed by Barron parents and scholarship applications will go out on April 12, as soon and the kids return from Easter Break. Completed applications are due April 19 and after that time, the Parent/Teacher Selection Committee will begin to evaluate the applicants. So far, we have four entities willing to either contribute directly to the scholarship fund or to Adopt-A-Student: The Drury College Golf Team, Dave & Lindy Marvin, Marty & Cathie Sattler and Dick & Kris McGuire. We have not yet finalized the numbers, but it looks like the total cost to send a kid from Barron to prep school in Mazatlan is about $1600 USD per year. We plan to offer scholarships for about 70% of this cost. If you would like to participate in this program, please contact Friends of Barron. Details will be posted on the Adopt-A-Student/Scholarship page in the very near future.

Scholarship Program Update

The effort to provide scholarships to deserving Barron secondary school graduates wishing to continue their education at preparatory schools in Maztalan has begun in earnest. Presently, a survey is underway to determine how many students have passed the entrance exam and how many would like to attend. The survey will also attempt to identify those who are eligible to attend but cannot due to financial constraints. Laura Zambada Aguirre, the secondary school principal and her staff will conduct the survey and results should be available next week. Friends of Barron is currently working with the secondary school principal and teachers to develop an application form for students to use so they may be evaluated and chosen to receive a scholarship. Friends of Barron has lined up three American/Canadian families willing to Adopt-a-Student of Barron to help defray the cost of education but more are needed. FOB has already committed $20,000 pesos of funds raised at the Silent Auction to support scholarships. More information about the Adopt-a-Student Program will be published as details are finalized.