Palo Alto Friends Meeting “El Salvador Projects” started its no interest student program in 1999 in response to the first students from the village of El Bario to have studied full time from kindergarten through high school. Carmen Broz, the director at the time pushed for the formation of a scholarship program to support the initial 9 graduating students in 2 and 3 years technical, nursing and teaching programs. The Palo Alto program is consider the oldest and longest running program in Suchitoto. Over time other support groups were discovered and through our years of work coordination is now extensive within 5 programs.
These programs include one founded by Frank and Carol Cummings, attenders at Atlanta Friends Meeting, referred to here as the AFM Scholarship program. After Carols passing many years ago Frank started what we refer to as the Family Cummings Scholarship Program. Then about 10 years ago with persuasion from Frank the priest at the time Father Salomon started a parish program which we today refer to as the Suchitoto Parochial Program, much of the initial funding for this program was provided by the Cummings family.
Frank Cummings and the current director of Palo Alto’s programs started coordinating efforts in 2005 working to consolidate all the existing programs, with work to motivate all graduating high school students to pursue post high school education as well as organizing a University Fair for more than 10 years. With Franks passing in 2015, Robert Broz started pushing for what he and Frank had wanted for years; the formation of a local youth-scholarship association.
The Association of Scholarship Students-ABESUCHI was formed in 2016 and now in 2018 is legalized as a local nonprofit. The current board of directors has organized the university fair in 2018 and supported Robert in 2016 and 2017. We are confident that with time they will grow and become much more proactive with the management and oversight of all the existing programs.
Robert Broz now director for Palo Alto’s programs since 2004 with much support from Andrew Cummings, Frank’s son have been crucial in the formation of the new association, that support will continue until the association become self-sufficient and at which point both Andrew and Robert will continue only as consultants to the Board of Directors and their committees.
Others active in educational financial aid in Suchitoto include:
The local committee for Santa Cruz al Salvador made up of parents and teachers from the school and area of La Ciudadela Manuel Ungo, with support from Robert Broz
The Santa Cruz al Salvador Board of Directors and new scholarship committee formed in 2018 and based in Santa Cruz, California and the surrounding areas.
The Parochial Scholarship committee of the Santa Lucia Church in Suchitoto conformed by some local teachers, the current priest, representatives from the ABESUCHI association, Sister Peggy O’Neill and Robert Broz. And finally
The municipal youth representative from the Municipal Scholarship program; And of course the board members of the Suchitoto Scholarship Youth Committee-ABESUCHI