Circle de Luz, an antidote to depression

This opening sentence to a new report grabbed my attention this weekend- 

Adolescent girls who had a serious school failure by the 12th grade — being expelled, suspended or dropping out — were significantly more likely to have suffered a serious bout of depression at the age of 21 than girls who did not have these problems.

-and reminded me how important the effort is that we are making with Circle de Luz.  By rewarding girls in the seventh grade because of the promise we see in them and letting them know that our belief in them comes with emotional and resource support and a minimum of a $5000 scholarship when they graduate from high school and pursue further education, we believe that we can positively affect their futures.  We can help them avoid poverty, increase their likelihood for job stability, and, as this study indicates, decrease their likelihood of depression (33% of girls who drop out experience depression as compared to 19% of girls who do not drop out). 

As of today, 42 women have committed $29,540 to support the Class of 2014′s scholarship recipients.  The 42 female donors, called M’ijas, commit to donate at least $90 a year (their contributions are due in two equally divided payments each year– one on September 15 and one on March 15) for six years to go towards the scholarship funds.  The contributions of all donors for an individual class are combined to create the scholarship fund.  For every $5000 contributed, we select one scholarship recipient.  Over the six years of the program, the funds sit in interest baring accounts until they are divided among the scholarship recipeints upon their high school graduation and enrollment into the next educational program of their choice.  We are just 1 donor away from selecting 6 scholarship recipients this fall that we will then work with until their high school graduation.  Want to be a part of the movement?  Visit the Circle de Luz how to join page to learn more.

Why I answered the call to the circle

I’m happy to donate and do what I can to help our Latina sisters! We can’t stand represented in the future if we aren’t going to support in the present. I look to my mom, grandmother and aunts for guidance, wisdom and support, but to have a program like Circle de Luz where we can support those who don’t have the financial means for their education is something so special.  I’m sooo thrilled to be a part of this effort, and look forward to being a part of its growth in the future. 

-Suezette from Orange County, California, a M’ija for the Circle de Luz Class of 2014