Since 2016 non-profits Steps of Love in the U.S. and AIM Peñasco (AIM) in Mexico have worked together to provide young people in Puerto Penasco with a path out of poverty through education.
During the COVID crisis we have shifted our focus from education to providing food for those in urgent need throughout the community. Since March 26th we have provided thousands of local families with food. As the situation permits, AIM will continue to provide food assistance, while also focusing on plans to safely resume their education program.
The World Changers and Peacemakers
How You Can Help
We consider our donors to be World-Changers because they help us change the world one child at a time. Their contributions enable us to have a long-term impact by supporting vulnerable students in Puerto Peñasco throughout their educational journey and graduating healthy, educated, empowered and employed young adults who can lift their families and their community out of poverty.
We are thrilled to be joining the Peacemaker family and hope many of you will join us in becoming World-Changers—especially during this time of unprecedented need in this community we all love so much.
SPECIAL PEACEMAKER MATCHING DONATION: An anonymous donor has offered to match all Peacemaker donations made in the month of June up to $5,000!
Steps of Love is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. Gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. Tax ID 46-1557787.
Why focus on education?
Going to school — and not dropping out — is essential to building a future free from poverty. Yet, unlike in the U.S., public high school students in Mexico must pay for registration, tuition and fees, books, uniforms and transportation. Expenses for one year can run upwards of $500, leaving many parents having to choose between meeting their family’s basic needs and sending their children to high school. Consequently, it is estimated that more than 60% of children in this community don’t go beyond middle school.
Meanwhile, a lack of resources such as academic support in the home, adequate food, access to medical attention and other barriers leave many young people in the community unable to complete even grade school or middle school.
Who We Help
AIM Peñasco’s social worker screens all applicants to ensure that they are serving youth who are most at-risk. Currently almost 600 students from kindergarten through college are provided with the ongoing support they need to go to school and succeed academically. Unfortunately, hundreds more students are on the waiting list –all young people full of potential and hoping for a path out of poverty through education.
How We Help
All students in AIM’s program receive the type and amount of support they need to succeed based on their age and own unique situation. Steps of Love provides funding and resources for AIM’s local team to support students in three key areas:
Academic Support and Resources:
Due to a lack of resources and support in the home, many elementary-aged children in AIM’s program arrive a year or more behind academically—and some have never attended school at all. AIM’s local team operates three homework clubs staffed by certified teachers who provide intensive remediation and ongoing academic support for hundreds of young students on a daily basis. These clubs also provide a safe place for children to relax, play and connect. A fourth homework club provides middle and high school students with access to technology and tutoring in advanced subjects that many of them need to succeed academically.
Financial Support for Direct Educational Expenses:
In this community where minimum wage is approximately $1.00 an hour, many families simply cannot afford to send their children to high school, much less college. With funding from Steps of Love, AIM provides more than 100 local students with the financial support they need to continue their education beyond middle school. Hundreds of students in the program across all grade levels also receive backpacks and the school supplies they need to begin the school year prepared for success.
Support for Basic Needs:
Families of students in AIM’s program sometimes struggle to meet even their children’s basic needs. On a case by case basis, these families may receive assistance with food, shelter, medical care or other basic needs that enable their children to thrive inside and outside the classroom.
The need for support will only increase due to the COVID pandemic
The students in AIM’s program are at risk of severe learning loss during this pandemic due to a lack of access to technology and increased emotional and financial stress on their families. We also anticipate an increased need for food and other necessities for these families. Meanwhile, local officials anticipate many more parents will emerge from the COVID crisis without the resources necessary to send their children to school.
Steps of Love reserves the right to direct donations to areas of greatest need.