UNM Foundation President Henry Nemcik, accompanied by student scholarship recipients, proudly display the check from the Mexican Consul.
Mauricio Ibarra Ponce de Leon, Consul of Mexico in Albuquerque, and University of New Mexico Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Eliseo "Cheo" Torres will took part in a check presentation today.

During the ceremony, UNM, Central New Mexico College, San Juan College Foundation and La Plaza de Encuentro received checks from money raised for the IME Becas Scholarship program. IME – Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior, is a Mexican federal program offering resources to Mexicans living abroad.

This is the second year that these awards have been presented and the money has already helped several deserving students attain their educational goals. This is San Juan College's first time as a recipient.

Torres said, "I would like to thank the Mexican Consul's office through the Mexican Government's Foreign Ministry for their generosity." UNM received $54,000, which is augmented by matching funds from a benefit golf tournament sponsored by Sergio Bermudez, owner of El Mezquite Market. Last year, UNM received $50,000.

The CNM Foundation and La Plaza de Encuentro each received $5,000, while San Juan College Foundation received $10,000.

IME-Becas Fellowship Program grant awards are made to exceptional UNM students of Mexican origin to undertake research and complete their degrees. UNM has earned an outstanding reputation, nationally and abroad, based on the breadth and expertise of Mexican, Latino and Latin American specialists in a wide variety of disciplinary fields and programs.

The IME Scholarship program was created in 2005 to help raise the educational attainment levels of Mexican and Mexican-born scholars in the United States. Since then, the Government of Mexico presented 10 million pesos (about $776,000) to colleges and universities and nonprofit social organizations that provide education, training and support for Mexican immigrants to start, continue or complete their education.

As of 2010, the target population has diversified to offer college scholarships to young Mexicans and Mexican Americans. Those who are chosen are deemed academically outstanding and desirous of completing their studies in U.S. community colleges and universities.

The IME website notes that "contributing to open educational opportunities to the migrant community is crucial not only for enthusiasts seeking students to complete their studies, but to all of our companies that will benefit from this valuable human capital."

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; email: cgonzal@unm.edu