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February 2024 Trip to Belize

(Feb 4th to Feb 9th, 2024)
Please click here to see the pictures from this trip.
Four members of the BEP Scholarship Team, Rebecca Knight, Donna Duffy, Bob Anderson and Peter Ruzicka, traveled to Belize in early February. We were joined by Sara Fry, a fellow sponsor and professor from Boise, ID.
We had several purposes for this trip:

  • To improve the quality of scholarship applications from students

The 2024 scholarship application process is just starting for standard 6 students from four primary schools. The application process includes eight essay questions for students to answer. These questions are intended to help us understand the student’s academic challenges, the ways they help their family and community, their personal interests, and their hopes and goals for the future. In the past, we have frequently received short, insufficient answers. On this trip, we met with students from the four primary schools to walk them through the application and have them practice writing stronger answers to the essay questions by giving them individual feedback and suggestions. It will be interesting to see if this coaching results in helping the reviewers get a deeper understand of each student’s interest in and likelihood of succeeding in high school.


  • To identify specific needs of the Eden High School science department

In the past, BEP has provided financial support to several Eden High School departments and events. This year, we wanted to learn more about the needs of the science department. We had the opportunity to have in-depth discussions with the biology, physics and chemistry teachers, and they helped us understand their ongoing challenges in obtaining necessary materials for each of their classes. The BEP scholarship program is donating an immediate $1,000 to each teacher for urgent classroom supplies. We will also come up with a plan to provide additional funding for the department’s ongoing need for equipment and other necessary supplies.


  • To meet with all of our current 53 student scholars at Eden High School

BEP is currently providing 4-year scholarships for 53 students, our highest number ever to date. We had lunch with each grade-level group on different days, with time to visit with them and learn more about their school experiences, challenges and successes. We were delighted to find out that they had prepared programs for us, including singing, poetry, and selected readings. We presented personalized plaques to our 10 students who will graduate in May. This time with our scholars was a highlight of our trip and we were delighted to build and renew relationships with these exceptional young people.


During our visit, we had time to meet with the Eden principal and various other school staff, all of the primary school principals, several former BEP scholars who are now pursuing college degrees, and families who are longtime friends. We came home with full hearts and excitement about new opportunities for BEP to provide support to these schools, students and school personnel.

May 2023 Trip to Belize

(May 23rd to May 27th, 2023)

Five members of the BEP Scholarship team traveled to Belize in late May to award new scholarships and to celebrate with our high school graduates. We were honored to be joined by Judy Denison, a co-founder of BEP and a major inspiration for the scholarship team. On our first day in Belize we were warmly welcomed by Ms. Rutilia Useda and her standard 1 classroom. Rutilia has been sponsored by Judy and a group of "angels" to not only earn her teaching degree but now a Master's degree in counselling. Judy has written several children's books and Rutilia's students were thrilled to meet the author of some of their favorite stories. Judy engaged with each student individually and answered questions about reading, writing, and about herself. The children were astonished to learn that Ms. Judy is 86 years old and still going strong! We could not have asked for a brighter start to our trip. Over the next several days we visited our four primary schools - Eden, Bullet Tree, Hills of Promise and Buena Vista. We were pleased to award 18 scholarships and did not have to turn a single applicant away for the second year in a row. Thanks to the generosity of our many sponsors our program is growing by leaps and bounds. On behalf of the BEP Board we were pleased to award a special scholarship in memory of longtime friend and supporter of BEP, TJ Lanza, to Hamilton Orallana, a very deserving and bright young man in search of a second chance. We also had the opportunity to eat lunch with all of our current scholars and celebrate our 10 graduates by attending Parents' Night/Awards Night. Unfortunately we were unable to attend the actual graduation ceremony this year but hope to return for that next year, with sponsors! Once again we had a fabulous journey and came home much richer for the experiences we had.


Many thanks to everyone (especially to Donna Duffy) who supported this trip!

2023-24 Scholarships Awarded

In May, the BEP Board of Directors and Scholarship Team completed the process of collecting and reviewing applications for 2023-24 high school scholarships. We are pleased to congratulate the following students on their scholarship award:
Jesus Garcia, Luis Vega, Kayleen Sandoval, Ashward Molina, Santiago Coc, Danna Trinidad,
Amir Menjivar, Lianni Choto, Bianca Sandoval, Averyn Torres, Hamilton Orellana, Kate Canto,
Daniel Manzanero, Fernando Moreno, Deuel Landero, Eduardo Landero, Juana Benitez and Edward Mejia.
Each of these students has been paired with a BEP sponsor who will support them with tuition support, communication and encouragement. We are excited to accompany these admirable students on their high school journey!

Congratulations 2023 BEP Graduates!

Ten BEP scholars successfully completed their four years of high school and graduated in May. These scholars persevered despite the impact Covid and spending two years learning remotely. This is no small feat considering that many students do not have access to the Internet and they learned through paper and pencil lessons hand-delivered to their homes by their teachers. Their family members also faced serious challenges during that time including illness and loss of employment and income.
We applaud these eight students and their families for this notable accomplishment:
Ria Garbutt, Freddy Landero, Eneyda Lopez, Anthony Pineda, Elsy Portillo,
Beverlyn Salazar, Daphnne Trinidad, Raheem Martinez, Yendy Hernandez and Dileni Adali Alvarado.

BEP Sponsor Gathering

September 25th, 2022

On a sunny day in September, about 25 sponsors of the Belize Education Project met for a picnic gathering in Centennial, Colorado.
Please click here for the pictures.

Old acquaintances were renewed and new friendships were made. Their commonality is their desire to further the education of a student from another country whom they may never meet.
The BEP sponsors, 34 total this year, come from all walks of life and have a shared commitment to support a student in Belize for four years of high school. Their generosity is the backbone of BEP - we would not exist without this level of dedication and support. But it's really more than the financial contribution that makes a difference, it's the human connection between two humans from different countries, backgrounds and traditions.

BEP student scholars have passed a rigorous selection process that take into consideration their financial need, grades, contributions to family and community, and commitment to work hard in high school. Only the smallest fraction of these students would ever have a chance to go to high school without this support. Sponsors and students communicate several times during the school year via messaging and videos. Sponsors offer caring encouragement; students share their successes and struggles. Strong friendships are born and family connections are made that often last long beyond the student's graduation.
These sponsors ask for nothing in return, their reward is knowing that they are changing lives for a student and family. The Belize Education Project is honored to have every single one of them on-board. If you are interested in joining this remarkable group, please contact us here. We welcome your involvement!


I'm always looking for new and exciting opportunities. Let's connect.


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