The following was received by Southtowne member, Dick Briggs:
Thanks so much for your note, and for Eugene Southtowne Rotary Club’s on-going commitment and support of Project Amigo’s scholars!
I’m filling in between the departure of Coke and Cindy and the arrival of Jenna and Alex Saldaña who will assume the role of Executive Directors in mid-August. (Their bio is on our website. As you can imagine, we’re pretty excited about the talent they bring to Project Amigo.)
Jorge Torres has filled me in on the Micro-Enterprise project, and I’m happy to share the progress.
In December of 2014, the 10th Annual “Encuentro de Becarios” workshop had the theme “Employment, Self-Employment and Micro-Businesses as alternatives for entering the labor market for professional level students of Project Amigo I” and focused on imagining and creating products from used shirts and t-shirts that could be sold by a micro-business. There were three winners – one in each of these three categories: originality, creativity and usefulness. The grand prize was $2,000 pesos given to the student who had the best idea/design with the goal of manufacturing the product. Jessica Manzo (now a college graduate) won this prize. Regretfully, she was unable to complete it, and the task passed on to some of her classmates. We have lost contact with Jessica. We’re informed that after graduating, she has gone to Oregon and we don’t know how her project progressed. Maybe you will see her sooner than us. I’m sorry.
On June 27th, the 11th “Encuentro de Becarios” was held with the theme of “Employment, Self-Employment and Micro-Businesses as alternatives for entering the labor market for professional level students of Project Amigo II”. In the absence of communication from Coke regarding whether this workshop was funded or not, we didn’t organize as large a scale workshop as we had in December. In the June workshop, there was one project – where the becarios had to create a product made from either primary or re-usable material. We offered a prize of $500 pesos. Nathaly Preciado won this prize. (photo # 2576 attached – Nathaly is the young lady in the middle)
We all sincerely appreciate the help and Support of Eugene Southtowne Rotary Club, and you in particular, for promoting and encouraging these events. The scholars have found them useful and stimulating. The workshops have opened their eyes and minds to the idea of starting their own businesses, and not depend on the labor market to support them.
Jorge plans to use the $300 the Club is sending now to further develop projects and ideas for Micro- Businesses at our 12th “Encuentro de Becarios” which will be held in December of 2015.
Many thanks again, Dick! Best wishes,