GROW Scholar Graduate Conny Fonseca Devotes Her Career Toward Giving Back to Her Home Community in Mexico

Conny FonsecaOrganics Unlimited is proud to give back to the community through its GROW fund which provides children, teenagers and young adults living in rural areas of Colima, Mexico with the opportunity to gain a quality education and a healthy, fulfilling life. Through GROW funds generated from the sale of organic bananas, nonprofit organizations, such as Project Amigo, are able to continue oversight of services including health care, clean drinking water, milk for growing children and education assistance to under served communities often living in conditions of poverty. Among these programs, the educational assistance transforms the lives of adolescents and young adults with the opportunity to strive and study for the professional career of their dreams.

Conny Fonseca, a sponsored student, followed her dream by becoming the first in her family to complete primary school and graduate from the University of Colima with a degree in medicine. One of five siblings, Conny grew up in Colima where her father worked on a remote ranch in the town of Cofradia de Suchitlan earning a minimum wage salary, while her mother stayed at home to take care of the family. A bright and ambitious student, Conny, at the age of nine, had the opportunity for educational sponsorship from GROW-funded Project Amigo to ensure she finished primary school. The funds pay for the basic costs of school supplies, uniforms, transportation and tutoring support.

While the program offered Conny with the chance to pursue her dream career, her family initially hesitated to accept the opportunity. Conny, like many other children and young adults, often face major cultural barriers, in addition to financial struggles around the decision to continue school. Young women are not normally encouraged to attend school in Mexico and the act is often seen as negative. This creates a lack of support from potential scholar families who would much rather have their children work in the fields to earn additional income or (for young women) to stay home to support the family. Despite these obstacles, Conny eventually gained her family’s blessing and was able to complete her primary education where she continuously met Project Amigo’s standards of good grades, attendance of weekly homework clubs and monthly community service.

Upon graduation from high school, Conny was presented with a full-ride scholarship including room & board at the University of Colima, eventually becoming a doctor where she is serving the community she grew up in. She is now the director of epidemiology for health centers in half of the municipalities of the state of Colima and the first scholar student serving on Project Amigo’s board of directors. Conny, as well as many other Project Amigo scholars, are eternally grateful for the funds generated from Organics Unlimited’s GROW program.

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