The Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, through the Mexican Consulate in Albuquerque, is contributing $50,000 for a scholarship fund to provide 50 University of New Mexico students with $2,000 scholarships, according to an agreement signed recently with the UNM Foundation. The objective of the IME Scholarship Program is to provide and improve higher education opportunities for Mexican immigrants and students from immigrant families in the United States. The IME contribution will be augmented by matching donor funds to allow 50 students to receive scholarships for the current and the spring 2012 semesters.

Mauricio Ibarra Ponce de León, Consul of Mexico in Albuquerque, said, "Through this scholarship program and partnering with UNM, the Consulate of Mexico is achieving one of its priorities in terms of directly supporting the educational needs of Mexican and Mexican-American students in New Mexico."

Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Eliseo "Cheo" Torres said, "This important donation will provide support to students who are not only bilingual, but bicultural. These students will be uniquely prepared to contribute positively to the future of our community."

As part of this initiative, the Consulate of Mexico is additionally providing $10,000 for scholarships to the Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) and another $10,000 to the community based organization Plaza de Encuentro, to benefit students seeking ESL, GED and computer courses.

The IME Program is designed to raise the education level of Mexicans, and people of Mexican origin residing in the USA; people with a proficiency in Spanish language; and those with demonstrated leadership and commitment to advance the culture and economy of Mexico. Mexicans living abroad, as well as students with a defined educational interest in advancing the Mexican economy both in the United States and Mexico, are eligible. The IME has presented educational institutions across the United States with scholarship funds since 2005.

The decisive support IME is providing for educational issues is the result of the priority and importance given by the administration of President Felipe Calderon to the improvement of living standards of Mexicans living abroad.

Andrew Gonzalez, associate vice president for Student Affairs, will serve as the UNM liaison for the program. Community awareness of the opportunity and coordination of the application process for the scholarships will begin in October with final awards made in December retroactively for the fall semester. Scholarship recipients will enhance their educational success through participation in community service programs.

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Media Contact:Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; e-mail:

Contacts: Andrew Gonzalez, Director, College Enrichment Program, UNM Student Affairs, 505-277-5321
Daniel Dominguez Cantú, Deputy Consul, Mexican Consulate, Albuquerque, 505-765-7605
Lee Wong Medina, Head of Consular Protection and Community Outreach, Mexican Consulate,
Albuquerque, 505-765-7606
Wendy Antonio, UNM Foundation, 505-277-9520