Tech Chosen for 2016 IME Fellowship Funding

Representatives from the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock announced during a reception at Chambers Cafeteria on Thursday, Dec. 3, that Arkansas Tech University will be the lone institution of higher learning in the State of Arkansas to receive IME Becas Fellowship scholarship funds during the 2016 calendar year.

Andre Guerrero, member of the local IME Becas Fellowship committee that recommended Arkansas Tech for the scholarship funding, said that the university’s demonstrated commitment to serving Hispanic students was a key factor in the decision.

“We wanted to award the entire amount to one grantee in only one category, that of higher education,” said Guerrero. “We wanted to award the entire amount to Arkansas Tech based upon their previous track record. We are reminded especially to give thanks for our Latino families and their children, our college students, for contributing their energy, culture, language and faith to the development of our country and its continuing social renewal and progress. This gift is one we see in every Hispanic student attending Arkansas Tech University. It is an investment in our greater society, and in the future of Arkansas Tech itself.”

The IME Becas Fellowship program was created by Mexico in 2005 to contribute to the education and improvement of individuals of Mexican origin living in the United States.

IME Fellowship scholarships are awarded competitively based on academic achievement and financial need. Applicants for the IME Fellowship must be Mexican or of Mexican origin to qualify, and they must not be eligible for any other type of scholarship funds or financial aid.

“It is a great honor and privilege to have the opportunity partner with and collaborate with educational institutions, local organizations and government entities that help us promote our vision of the importance of training our young immigrants,” said David Manuel Preciado Juarez, head of post for the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock. “They are being educated and prepared at a level that allows them to have more opportunities and makes them an important asset for the American society.

“The Mexican government has invested in Arkansas because Arkansas has invested in our people,” continued Juarez. “I want to make a special mention for the students who have joined us today. We want to tell you that we are so proud of you. You are a pride for Mexico, and you are a pride for Arkansas.”

Laura Adame, an Arkansas Tech freshman from Dardanelle, also spoke at Thursday’s reception. She told of how she was ineligible for scholarship assistance due to her citizenship status until the IME Fellowship program came to Arkansas Tech in 2015. The program enabled her and her sister, Dolce, to enroll at the university.

“I just want to thank you guys so much,” said Laura Adame. “We got that scholarship, and now I can say my dream has been fulfilled because there were people out there who were generous enough to make that contribution and make this scholarship happen. You have been a great impact in my life. It’s not just my life. I know many other students feel the same way.”

In addition to the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock, Arkansas Tech faculty members Dr. Diane Gleason and Dr. Ursula Chandler were also recognized on Thursday for their financial support of the IME Fellowship scholarships.

To date, 24 Arkansas Tech students have benefited from the program.

The number of Hispanic students at Arkansas Tech has increased by 380 percent since 2006. There are 772 Hispanic students enrolled at Tech for the fall 2015 semester. In all, 23.9 percent of Arkansas Tech students are from minority groups.

“At Arkansas Tech, we strive to create and nurture a culture of fairness, honesty and professionalism,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, Tech president. “We celebrate the ways in which we are different and the ways that we are the same. Through the IME Becas scholarship program at Arkansas Tech on the Ozark and Russellville campuses, we will recruit, retain and graduate students who are from Mexico or are of Mexican origin. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you.”