CSI President Dr. Tomás D. Morales (left) and Acting Consul General Ismael Naveja (second from right) are joined by CSI student scholarship recipients at the Mexican Consulate’s Endowment Awards Ceremony.

The Mexican Consulate in New York announced today that the scholarship program of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad (IME) has awarded $20,000 to support the education of the low-income immigrant community that resides in this city.

These funds provide scholarships to eight students of Mexican origin who carried out studies at the College of Staten Island (CSI), The City University of New York (CUNY). The eight students were selected from 20 young people who applied for the scholarship.

The recipients are young people between the ages of 19 and 27,  born in Mexico or in the U.S. with Mexican parents, who already conduct their studies in areas such as history, nursing, business administration, and international relations.

To Araceli Neri Maron, who came from Mexico to the United States 20 years ago when she was seven, it is a great motivation to have been granted this scholarship, amounting to $2,500 per student and covering a semester. “I want to study to be able to help people who do not speak English. In addition, I want to change the stereotype that Mexicans only have low-paying  jobs,” said Araceli, who is studying nursing.

“It is essential that our youth have the same educational opportunities,” said Ismael Naveja, consul general.

Ibarguen Irvin, another recipient, was born 20 years ago in New York shortly after his parents reached U.S. soil from Puebla in search of a better future.

Ibarguen will use his scholarship to help fund his fourth year of studies in history. The money will ease the burden on his parents who work in a factory in the city. “This money lessens the burden that my parents have to support my studies. My father has three jobs,” said Irvin, one of three brothers.

Of the 250,000 students in the CUNY system, University executives estimate that between 5,000 to 6,000 are of Mexican origin, although that number could be larger, as indicating origin is voluntary.

In addition, Jay Hershenson, CUNY Vice Chancellor, said that this alliance sends a clear signal to the Mexican community on the importance of education. “Especially during this economic period it is critical that people receive education. Students are the future of the city, nation, and the world, ” said Hershenson, who noted that CUNY has experienced a 215 percent increase in enrollment of Mexican students in the last decade.

The goal is to promote education among young Mexican Americans and decrease the rate of students who drop out from school,” said Jesus Perez, IME council member and who leads the Academic Advising Center of Brooklyn College.

According to Luz Valdez, who is studying business administration, it is a great opportunity to be able to continue studying. “It was difficult to get the scholarship but I did it,” said the student, who lives in Staten Island, a borough that has seen an increase in its Mexican population.

The Mexican government has signed several educational agreements with CUNY, such as the recent one that offers English classes for Mexicans working in restaurants and the construction industry.