Dollars drive dreams

Local support of MACE scholarships helps students go to
college
Over the last 40 years, the Mexican American Committee on
Education (MACE) has funded close to $400,000 worth of scholarships
for nearly 500 local high school graduates.
For some students, it’s the ticket to opportunities that were
not available to their parents. For most of them, it’s the down
payment on future success.
Local support of MACE scholarships helps students go to college

Over the last 40 years, the Mexican American Committee on Education (MACE) has funded close to $400,000 worth of scholarships for nearly 500 local high school graduates.

For some students, it’s the ticket to opportunities that were not available to their parents. For most of them, it’s the down payment on future success.

State Farm Insurance recently aided the effort by donating $1,000 to the Cinco de Mayo Scholarship Banquet.

“Their donation provides one more student with the opportunity for success in their college education,” said Veronica Lezama, president of MACE. “When we heard they could provide funding, we were pleased because we know how far these funds can go.”

As a former scholarship recipient herself, Lezama has heard dozens of stories of San Benito County students who rely on the scholarship assistance to realize their dream of pursing a college education.

“One student whose parents are farm workers is in law school; another one works on Wall Street,” she said. Lezama herself is a transportation planner for the county’s Council of Governments.

“You hear about them and you can’t believe these students have overcome the struggles they have,” she said, citing the student who, with the help of a MACE scholarship, takes classes at San Jose State University – commuting by public transportation at 5 a.m. each day.

“I can relate to not having a car and doing whatever it takes to get ahead in life,” Lezama added.

When scholarship recipients share their stories with previous and potential scholarship sponsors, it helps donors realize the value of their contribution, she said.

“When the students told some of our sponsors about their struggles to get an education, the sponsors were really surprised,” Lezama said. “They know that they contribute funds to the scholarships, but they don’t always get to hear the first-hand stories of the impact they have on the community.”

For more information, visit www.themacecommittee.org online.

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