By Faith Hoyt
 
A scholarship program for Latino students in the Pacific Union Conference that launched in 2015 is continuing to provide mentorship and financial assistance to young people pursing Adventist Education.
 
ALCANCE, a non-profit organization of Adventist educators and church leaders, helps give Latino Adventist students access to Adventist Education through various means, including scholarships and a mentoring program.
 
“For Latinos, acquiring a Christian education is often perceived as out of their reach due to the prohibitive costs involved,” said Martha Havens, associate director for elementary education in the Pacific Union Conference. “It is this perception that closes the door to low-income families. Scholarships encourage students to believe that the door to Christian education is still open to them. The ALCANCE scholarship program includes educating parents about government financial resources available to them in addition to program scholarships.”
 
ALCANCE, which stands for Adventist Latino Council Advancing & Nurturing Christian Education, is co-sponsored by the Pacific Union Conference, the Center for Research on Adventist Education (CRAE) at La Sierra University, conferences, individual donors, local churches, and mentors.
 
The scholarship organization looks for highly motivated and service-oriented high school students who aim to attend an Adventist college. One of the students who fit that description is Ana Chujutali, who graduated last school year from Redlands Adventist Academy (RAA).
 
“Ana was on my campus ministries team and had a great passion for helping the community from a school’s perspective,” says Lemar Sandiford, campus chaplain at RAA. Sandiford says that during Chujutali’s two and a half years at the academy, she demonstrated a passion for both academics and helping her community near and far.
 
“Ana exhibits a selfless, Christlike character and cares passionately for her circle and the wider community,” Sandiford said. “We support students like her especially because they give back. Any scholarship is important, and this one in particular, because skilled students who might not otherwise have this opportunity are able to pursue priceless education.”
 
This year, six students are currently receiving scholarships. Since 2015, ALCANCE has helped 25 students total. Out of the 25 students, 10 have graduated from Loma Linda Academy, La Sierra Academy, Thunderbird Adventist Academy, Redlands Adventist Academy, and Mountain View Academy.
 
Church members interested in mentoring young people or starting an ALCANCE program in their local church are encouraged to talk to their local pastor. Requirements for scholarship applicants include meeting a minimum GPA of 2.0 and submitting a letter of recommendation from a pastor and/or teacher. For more information or to apply for aid, visit alcancelatinos.org.

 
Photo (top): Three of this year’s ALCANCE scholarship recipients who attend Mountain View Academy are, from left to right, Alihia Barroso, Ashly Barroso, and Haisley Maceda Ponce.
 
 
 
One recent ALCANCE scholarship recipient is Ana Chujutali, who graduated last school year from Redlands Adventist Academy (RAA). During her two and a half years at RAA, Chujutali demonstrated a passion for both academics and helping her community.