María Nazareth Mata Castillo, Valeria Saborío Barquero, Diego Hernández Montero, Maxwell Jornae Pita Nelson, Josué Ortega Ramírez and Antony Ramírez Montero, became the second generation of Costa Rican students in the public education system to earn scholarships to study in community colleges in the United States, this thanks to the progam “Scholarships for Specialized Technicians Dr. Ana Sittenfeld”.
“Their outstanding academic level, their language skills, their leadership and interest in the STEM areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, are qualities that these six Costa Rican students have in common and made them obtain a scholarship of technical studies in the United States”, states the press release.
The scholarship program is the result of the partnership between the Costa Rica – United States Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), the U.S. Embassy, United Airlines and the North American-Costa Rican Cultural Center, through its Education USA educational advisory office.
According to CINDE, Of the students who received scholarships, five are from the Professional Technical Colleges of General Viejo, Santa Ana, San Isidro de Heredia, San Agustín and COVAO in Cartago, while the sixth student is from the Gregorio José Ramírez School, which belongs to the International Baccalaureate Program. All went through a rigorous selection process, in which a committee of representatives from CINDE, the US Embassy, Education USA and CRUSA Foundation, evaluated their academic level, their English language proficiency, leadership, and their socioeconomic status.
“For the CRUSA Foundation, it is vital to support the country in creating capacities in areas that are strategic, above all, to boost the knowledge and innovation economy. We know that the country has an increase in the number of new professionals in science and technology, but they are not enough to meet the demand of the business sector,” said Marisela Bonilla, Coordinator of Human Capital, Knowledge and Innovation of the CRUSA Foundation.
The beneficiaries of this program will study at Community Colleges in the United States and will be able to complement their academic training with internships at companies that have operations in Costa Rica and whose headquarters are located on the US.
The total budget of the Specialized Technician Scholarship Dr. Ana Sittenfeld Program is $ 1,567,000 for five years, which means, these scholarships will continue to be awarded until 2021. They include the registration costs, health insurance and living expenses, and United Airlines donates the airline tickets.
According to CINDE, multinational companies can double the number of jobs that are generated each year if there is a greater supply of qualified personnel in careers related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In 2017 alone, 13,754 high-quality and well-paid jobs were generated. These projections make the CRUSA Foundation promote the training of human talent in the areas demanded by the labor market.