“These bright young men and women didn’t expect the chance to study outside rural, indigenous Mexico. But they are embarking on a life-changing journey that will expand their view of the world and by extension, the world-view of their families and communities,” said U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza. “The people of the United States believe that education is the foundation for freedom and democracy; by providing these scholarships we demonstrate our commitment to those values.”
The United States government is providing a total of $35 million dollars over the next six years for Training, Internships, Exchanges, and Scholarships (TIES) supporting at least 750 scholarships and 35 partnerships between Mexican and U.S. universities. TIES is a public-private alliance with collaborating partners contributing an additional $15 million to make the total investment in education $50 million dollars.
Almost one third of the scholarships under TIES are especially designated for students from rural Mexico and indigenous communities who rarely get a chance for higher education abroad. Students participate in programs at American community colleges designed to improve their technical skills so that upon their return to Mexico, they can address the economic and development issues they face in their communities.
This year, 44 scholarship recipients have been selected from the states of Chiapas, Queretaro, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Jalisco, and Michoacan. They were honored at an Award Ceremony on May 15th at the Museo Nacional de Antropología attended by their families, community representatives and U.S. and Mexican government officials. This is the culmination of a weeklong orientation session to prepare the students for their studies in the U.S.
Administered by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., this program is divided in two main components: two-year scholarships for high school graduates from rural poor areas and one-year scholarships for indigenous teachers working in their communities.
Last year, 22 Mexican high-school graduates received scholarships and are successfully completing their study programs in the U.S. The Georgetown program also assists participants with job placement and follow-up skill building sessions.
Presidents Bush and Fox announced the TIES Initiative to advance the objectives of the U.S.-Mexico Partnership for Prosperity in September 2001. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) office in Mexico implements the TIES initiative.