Scholarship Program

barriers to education

In El Salvador, since public education is free only through ninth grade, high school is considered higher education. To attend high school, students must cover the costs of uniforms, books and, because schools are usually far from their homes, transportation. These students face poverty that prevents them from moving forward academically and socioeconomically; they face physical threat from the gangs that infiltrate their villages and initiate new young members; and they face short lives because of waterborne diseases, heavy metals settling into their kidneys, and limited access to healthcare.

How the Scholarship program works

The purpose of the CdA scholarship program is to provide higher education and develop community leaders. Caminos de Acción partners with the 501(c)(3) Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad (CIS) to provide educational scholarships/fellowships/loans for students entering high school and university. CdA and CIS give these students the possibility of not only improving their chances but also growing as leaders in their villages by leading a community project. 

Impact of the program

Thanks to the scholarship program, many young Salvadorans are achieving their dream of attending high school and university. One of the characteristics we search for in each student is the desire for strong personal development. Our students return home equipped with knowledge and make a positive impact not only on themselves, but on their families and the community as well.

One of the requirements we ask of our students is to provide community service. The purpose of this is to raise a sense of belonging within their community. With their work focused in Tehuiste, they are solving problems that affect all citizens of the village.

Salvadoran youth who receive an education are better able to earn income, have fewer unwanted pregnancies and are more likely to break the cycle of poverty. 

Breaking gender barriers

Providing the youth with increased access to education improves not only individual quality of life, but also that of the surrounding community. We offer support in many forms, including teaching young mothers about nutrition and sanitation; facilitating girls’ access to education; and building self-esteem to help shield women from gender-based violence. We aim for girls to come away from our programs with a comprehensive toolkit of life skills that they can draw upon and pass on to their own daughters and friends.

How can I sponsor a student?

A commitment to sponsor a student is a wonderful way to positively affect the youth in Tehuiste. There are two levels of sponsorship; high school and university. High school scholarships are $37/month, $445/year for two to three years and university scholarships are $115/month, $1,380/year for five to six years.

Student Eligibility

High School Scholarship

  • Students must be from a community in which CdA or CIS has a scholarship program.
  • Students must have financial need and are evaluated by members of their local scholarship committee.
  • Only one student per family may apply.
  • Students must be active in their community, whether with the local community development organization or another local organization.
  • Students’ grades are not a principal criteria but if they fail during their scholarship year, they lose their scholarship.

University Scholarship

  • Students must have graduated from high school with a scholarship from CdA/CIS or have participated in another CdA/CIS related group.
  • Students must have financial need and are evaluated by members of their local scholarship committee.
  • Only one student per family may apply.

CdA requires university scholarship/loan recipients to repay 50% of their scholarships funds after graduation and employment so as to maintain program sustainability. Scholarship repayment is made to local scholarship committees to further fund local student scholarships. If recipients choose to renounce their scholarship before graduating but choose to continue their studies, they are still required to repay the 50% upon graduation and employment. If recipients renounce their studies before graduating because of failing grades or emigration, they are required to repay 100% of their scholarship. The local scholarship committee can decide to require only 50% if the recipients’ reasons are because of a grave illness or factors outside of their control.