Marco A. Firebaugh Dreamers Study Abroad Scholarship Fund

Fund will anchor a campaign for the California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program

By The California-Mexico Studies Center
Published on LatinoLA: March 15, 2016

Marco A. Firebaugh Dreamers Study Abroad Scholarship Fund

The California-Mexico Studies Center, Inc. (CMSC) is launching the Marco Antonio Firebaugh Dreamers Study Abroad Scholarship Fund, to raise funding for the CMSC's 2016 Summer California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program.

The primary purpose of the MAF Dreamers Study Abroad Scholarship Fund will be to anchor a fundraising campaign with the goal of securing $50,000 in matching funds by June 30, 2016; in order to defray at least 50% of the 100 California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program participants in four 2016 Summer Projects being planned by the CMSC through CSULB, CSU Northridge, UCLA and University of La Verne.

The Summer 2016 California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program is a subsequent project that builds upon the CMSC's California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program (Winter 2015) demonstration program, and which offered 30 DACA-protected Dreamers from 18 different colleges and universities in the Los Angeles metropolitan area , a unique 3-week travel-study experience in Mexico City and Cuernavaca, Morelos.

Most important, the participating Dreamers also had the opportunity to travel to their birthplace for 8 days and spend Christmas and New Year's with their families and discover Mexico as adults, given that most had not been able to return for over 20 years since they entered the US as minors.

After their independent family travel, they returned to Cuernavaca, Morelos, where they were immersed in a comprehensive cultural and educational program at CETLALIC Institute ( Centro Tlahuica de Lenguas e Intercambio Cultural ). The curriculum included daily "cátedras" on social movements, the Mexican educational, economic and political systems, Afromexicanos, various field trips to museums and historical sites (Templo Mayor, Palacio Nacional, Tepoztlan, Xochicalco & Taxco), and a 14-day home-stay living experience with Mexican host families.

The CMSC's fund drive for the MAF Dreamers Study Abroad Scholarship Fund has already secured a $10,000 grant from Mexico's Becas IME Program, and is substantially driven by the 30 Dreamers that participated in the CMSC's 2015-16 Winter California-Mexico Dreamers Study Abroad Program, funded by the
Juntos Podemos Foundation.

The CMSC plans to solicit seed funding from business and corporate sponsors, foundations, community-based organizations, Mexican Home-town Associations, Clubs and Federaciones, churches, and apply to the Juntos Podemos Foundation for a major matching grant.

The CMSC's MAF Dreamers Study Abroad Scholarship Fund was conceived to celebrate the pioneering legacy and trailblazing career of Assemblyman Marco Antonio Firebaugh, and to commemorate his passing 10 years ago, on March 21, 2006 at the age of 39 years young.

Marco's landmark AB-540 legislation forged the rights of undocumented youth, by allowing them to legally attend public higher education institutions in California, and to pay the same rate of tuition as all other residents of the state.

Four days after his passing, on March 25, 2006, the world witnessed one of the largest protest movements in history, with demonstrations in dozens of U.S. cities and Los Angeles was 'ground zero', leading up to the May Day marches in over 150 cities and more than 2 million protesters of all races, ages and nationalities.

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