FAQ FOR SPONSORS
HOW ARE STUDENTS PUT ON THE LIST?
Castaway Kids has bilingual liaisons who work closely with social workers at the public schools within the greater Guaymas area. The school counselors refer academically high-achieving students from low-income families to our liaisons. The liaisons then work with the students to put together applications explaining their family income, living situation, and their academic and other interests. When complete, the liaison forwards the applications to our Castaway Kids student coordinator. Other students become aware of our program through the Internet or word of mouth.
The applications are reviewed and all students from families who meet a low-income threshold, and have at least an 8 out of 10 grade point average are welcomed onto the eligible-student waiting list.
HOW MUCH IS MY DONATION AND WHAT DOES IT COVER?
The donation amount and what it covers varies depending on your student’s level in school.
Primaria (grades 1 – 6) and Secondaria (grades 7 – 9): A donation of $250 USD covers the annual cost of uniforms, shoes, and school supplies. Public primaria and secondaria schools do not charge tuition.
Preparatoria (grades 10 – 12): A donation of $500 USD covers the annual cost of uniforms, shoes, and school supplies, plus the additional cost of tuition. Public preparatoria schools charge tuition.
Universidad: A donation of $1,000 USD covers tuition and fees for one school year.
Actual costs can vary from year to year depending on the exchange rate and tuition cost.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT MY STUDENT GETS THE FUNDS I DONATE?
One hundred percent of your donation goes to the student you selected for sponsorship. We set up an account in your student’s name and charge your student’s expenses to that account. At least once a year we will send a copy of the accounting to you.
DO STUDENTS GET CASH PAYMENTS?
Cash is not given directly to the students. Instead, we give them vouchers that they can redeem at specific school-supply vendors in Guaymas. Castaway Kids has agreements with specific stores and they help us monitor to make sure the vouchers are spent on the intended students. We pay tuition directly to schools.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY ENTIRE DONATION IS NOT SPENT?
If funds remain from year to year, they will be carried over into your student’s account for the following year. Your requested annual donation will be adjusted accordingly. We try not to overestimate the amount of funds requested each year. However, it can happen that funds remain after a student graduates. We do not give refunds, but we will contact you to see if you have any preferences for how to apply the remaining funds to other Castaway Kids students or projects.
DO I HAVE TO SPONSOR THE STUDENT I SELECT THROUGHOUT THEIR ACADEMIC CAREER?
We strongly encourage you to support your student throughout his or her academic career. Most of our sponsors stay through to graduation. However, it is not required.
Costs will increase if your student progresses from secondaria to prepatoria, or prepatoria to universidad. We assume that you will sponsor your student as long as the annual cost does not increase. We will ask you if you want to continue when your student graduates to a more expensive level. Many sponsors share the sponsorship costs with friends or family.
You can cancel sponsorship at any time. Please let us know as soon as possible if you decide to cancel so we can try to find another sponsor for your child. We might also suggest making a general donation to the Adelante Estudiante program instead of selecting a specific child for sponsorship if you can only donate for one year. One hundred percent of general donations to the Adelante Estudiante program go to students, some of whom have lost their sponsors.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER I MAKE MY FIRST DONATION?
You will receive an introductory email from a Castaway Kids liaison. They will send you copies of your student’s grades after each semester, and at least once a year you will receive an accounting of how your donation has been spent. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not heard from your liaison within 30 days of making your first donation.
We do not require that students communicate directly with their sponsors because few of them have a telephone or home Internet. Your liaison will do their best to serve as a conduit for information exchange between you and your student. Please let your liaison know if there is anything they can do to help you make the most of your sponsorship experience.
CAN I MEET MY STUDENT?
Yes, you can meet your student if you wish to do so. At your request, your liaison will facilitate a meeting with your student. Your liaison can also arrange for a translator if you want one. Parents usually accompany younger students during the meetings. Some sponsors choose not to meet their students, and that is OK.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A STUDENT’S GRADES DROP BELOW 8 GPA?
A student will be put on probation for one semester if their semester GPA drops below 8 out of 10. Support continues during the probation period. The liaison will work with the student and his/her school counselor to help the student get back on track. The student’s participation in Adelante Estudiante is terminated if they fail to raise their grades for the second semester in a row. We will keep sponsors apprised if this happens.
WHOM CAN I CONTACT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS?
Your liaison can help you with questions about your student. Please contact them directly, if you have their email address.
Contact us at email@example.com if you have general questions or concerns. We continually strive to improve the Adelante Estudiante program. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to improve your experience.