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Jóvenes Adelante A.C.


Volume 2, Issue 1 January, 2012

Inside this issue:

A Celebration of the Life of Our Dear Friend Virginia By Jenny Callaghan

Friends, family, members of the community and Jóvenes Adelante students gathered at the Hotel Aldea, Tuesday afternoon, January 3rd, to remember, honor and say goodbye to our dear Virginia Wheelwright. Farley Wheelwright welcomed everyone, with witty remarks to put us all at ease, and Stephanie Hough led the opening words of comfort. Following their remarks, people rose to recite poetry, sing songs, and tell stories, inspiring, often funny, ones which illustrated Virginia’s commitment, courage, humor, determination, pluck and candor. It was an afternoon of tears and laughter. Unitarian Universalist members Peggy Bell, Sue Leonard and Amanda Ruíz spoke about her life and the foundation of Jóvenes Adelante. Her family from the United States, Delia Moon, Cindy Harnichar, Tom and John Kafka, spoke movingly about their mother’s life. “I know she had a good, fulfilling life and lived to be 91,” said Tom, “but we wanted more of it.” He spoke for us all. Only when Remedios Hernandez Mancilla, one of the earliest JA graduates, stood up and spoke with great emotion about how she had,

A Generous Grocer


Laptops for Students 2

Virginia Wheelwright 1920-2011

with the help of Jóvenes, come from living in a rancho with sometimes no money for food, to being a working attorney, did people begin to feel the depth of what we had lost. As her mother Lola said to Remedios later, “You gave everyone permission to respond from their hearts.” And we did, tears and all. Marisol Cruz Cervantes, another Jóvenes Adelante student, spoke movingly of the difference Virginia had made in her life. Following her words a slideshow was presented, put together by JA students, commemorating Virginia’s achievements and thanking her for them. Over refreshments, people from all parts of Farley and Virginia’s life got a chance to meet each other and exchange stories.

The mood of the afternoon was sadness but invigorated by a resolve to continue her legacy, to encourage and assist more young Mexicans in fulfilling their potential and through education and hard work, building the Mexico of tomorrow.

Focus on Our Founders


Legacy Gifts


JA Alumni Association


Universidad Allende


Facturas for JA


A Helping Hand


2012 Board Nominations

Annual General Membership Meeting

A scholarship has been established in Virginia’s name and will provide funding for a deserving student.

-Annual President’s Report -Election of New Board Members -Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Make your contribution to the Virginia Wheelwright

SAVE THIS DATE! Thursday, February 16, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Casa Luna, Quebrada #117 $150 pesos

Memorial Scholarship payable to: Jóvenes Adelante, A.C. Contributions may be delivered directly to our office or to Box 49A at La Conexión, Aldama #3 , San Miguel de Allende.

Make your reservations Now! 044-415-117-3006


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Grant Generosity: Student Secures Sizable Donation From Grocery Giant H.E.B. By Michael Chavez Published in the University of Texas, Pan American On-line: Friday, January 20, 2012 Thanks to reformed gang member Rigo Miller, Jovenes Adelante, a non-profit dedicated to helping bright, impoverished youth succeed in college, received $2,000 from HEB. Originally from Southern California, Miller joined a gang at a young age in to escape his tumultuous home life. "To escape child abuse, I joined a gang, to escape the gang I went to college; a few colleges," Miller said. Miller then enrolled in the University of Texas, Pan American’s Master of Public Administration program, where he learned basic skills of grant writing to fund non-profits. He decided to use what he learned to help JA, based in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico. "Coming from a disadvantaged background myself, I can really sympathize with JA's cause," Miller said. "It can really feel like there is no hope, but JA can help - JA is hope." "I Googled about 20 different local business in Hidalgo County and wrote a letter of inquiry to each," he explained. "The only one that responded was HEB and they awarded Jovenes Adelante $2,000 to purchase computers. I was thrilled to find the work paid off." Miller was also enthusiastic about the speed at which HEB responded to the grant request. "Typically, you are looking at a year before you hear from inquiry," he noted. "The fact that HEB did this in such a short time is phenome-

nal. I really want to make sure that HEB receives the credit it deserves for helping JA." Miller directed much praise to JA and the positive effects of member involvement in charity work. "Jovenes Adelante totally changed my life. It's simply an amazing feeling, to do-

nate your time, put in effort, and finally see all that time and effort make a difference," he stressed. "In this case, it was a big difference, but even the small changes make a difference." The work is not over though, according to Miller. There are 14 potential students that JA could accept if it had more funding. “To me, it is amazing that what is roughly the cost of one bachelors degree

H-E-B operates 33 stores in México. In 1997 they opened their first store in Monterrey. H-E-B caters to locals by offering mostly Mexican-made products.

here in the States, in Mexico it's roughly the cost of seven bachelors degrees." Miller said. "The thought of giving the gift of education to seven strangers is pretty mind-boggling."

Laptop Donations for Our Students Monitoring student study habits, we realized that with long commutes from the campo and late night class sessions, many students needed to have portable computers instead of desktop models. Also with the rapid change of technology, many of the donated desktop models are no longer compatible with the new audio/visual applications that the students need. Slow processors and outdated software hindered full participation in the classroom, especially for our engineering, graphic design and medical students who need non-conventional software programs to do their homework. So this past summer JA launched its first computer campaign to raise funds to purchase laptop computers for all of our students. It was a huge success and most of the students who did not have computers received them. With overwhelming community sup-

port, we went from having way too few computers to getting enough to cover our immediate needs. This was an amazing situation. One important contributing factor was that apparently a company in the US had converted to iPads, and Comutadoras para Jovenes received a substantial number of modern laptops that they passed on to us. Additionally, we received a generous donation from Ann Bontatibus and Randy Broman which allowed us to purchase excellent laptops for our engineering students. If that wasn’t enough, our local member Judy Holden’s friend Bobbi Jacobs, visited SMA in July, 2011. When she returned to her home in Chilliwack, Canada, she looked for second-hand

computers, but couldn't find any. So she made a presentation to her Rotary Club and they rushed money for 3 new computers down to Laura Stewart of San Miguel Midday Rotary. Thanks to both of these clubs and to Judy, our (6) new students who begin their studies next month, will have laptops. JA constantly addresses the question of changing technology student’s needs so that we can acquire the best technology that we can afford when we need it. Maybe in the near future all of our students will be using iPods and Apple Mexico will give us a grant to keep them using the latest and greatest models.


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Focus on Our Founders

Peggy Bell

L-R: Helen Morris, Virginia Wheelwright, Joe Ershan, Peggy Bell , Marge Zap, Betse Davies and Bob Hesdorfer .

Jovenes Adelante was founded by a group of dedicated friends who had a shared desire to do something to help deserving young people achieve a university education. What visionaries they were, to understand that education opens the door to opportunities. For our November General Membership meeting we had our chance to hear their wise voices again. Helen Morris, Virginia Wheelwright, Betse Davies and Peggy Bell all told us what inspired them and what they thought about the organization today. Helen Morris – Escorted by her first student David, gleamed as she said that “when I hear that Jovenes has 105 students attending university, and 41 Graduates, I think, oh my God with this ripple effect we might have a tsunami”. Virginia Wheelwright said “I think that back then, what we were so aware of was that there were so many young and bright Mexicans, who with a little bit of help, they would be able to change their lives, and the ripple effect is there in

changing every body’s life including our own.” Four days later, she passed away peacefully in her home. Peggy Bell, commented that “Back then, we all gathered to talk about how to help these kids; and to see how Jovenes has grown from there is nothing but astounding. Keeping personal contact with the students, and knowing that they all have mentors is an amazing thing that this organization has done.” Peggy also gave recognition to fellow founding member Bob Hesdorfer who gave us our name and designed our logo. Betse Davies shared an anecdote about Virginia that speaks to the importance of keeping our organization personal. Betse recalled an occasion when “Virginia, being such a good writer of Thank You letters, wrote a beautiful heartfelt letter to a person who had made a check donation. The recipient when he read the Thank You letter was so touched that he sent a Thank You letter for the Thank you letter he received. This is the heart and soul of Jovenes Adelante!

PLANNED GIVING: Some Gifts can even pay you income. JA was deeply moved by the recent and most generous donation of a property by retired radio operator, Jack Najork. Jack came to Jovenes Adelante after hearing that we had a Planned Giving program and that we were striving to help our donors make gifts to our organization in the most satisfying and prudent ways. We realized that many in our community may want to do the same. After an introductory workshop for the board members by expert project manager Russ Archibald, a team of experts volunteered to help us launch our very own Legacy program. They put together an informational conference at the Bibilteca Publica in October. The team included, Financial Planner Jeffrey Hill, Mexican lawyer Ana Lilia Buendia, U.S. lawyer Larry Cohn, U.S. CPA Barbara Hardin, and Linda Cooper from the 24-hour Association. The panel members stayed and answered questions well after the session was finished. SAVE THIS DATE: A second session is now in the planning for February 23, to explain the many types of assets that can be used to fund a charitable gift to Jovenes Adelante. These include cash, appreciated securities, real estate, personal property, business interests, IRAs/Retirement Plans, life insurance, and other assets. Some Gifts can even pay you income. Contact our office for information on gift strategies that can help you support JA.


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The Alumni (Ex-Becarios) Answer Our Call Jovnes Adelante has been making its mark on the San Miguel community for 10-years now. As a result we now have 41-students who have graduated with their university degrees and are gainfully employed in businesses and institutions throughout San Miguel and other parts of Mexico. With 29 additional students scheduled to graduate in 2012, it was only logical that the JA Alumni Association be formed. The mission of this newly formed group of graduates is three-fold: 1. Increase Alumni participation in advancing the mission of JA. 2. Facilitate Alumni participation in assuming new roles as members of the JA community. 3. Coordinate the volunteer efforts of the JA Alumni Ambassadors wherever they are located. The president of this newly formed group is 24-year old Mayra Liliana Rodriguez Bolaños. Lili, as she likes to be called, comes from a family of 12 children, in Montecillo de la Milpa, a rural community outside of San Miguel. She is currently living in Guanajuato city and working at the University of Guanajuato where she graduated in 2010 with a business degree in Productivity and Quality Management. Lili is also studying French and enjoys many cultural activities in Guanajuato City. Lili has already begun the work of contacting the JA graduates and forming her work teams. She is a very impressive young lady, who deserves our full support.

Mayra Liliana Rodriguez Bolaños, 1st President of the JA Alumni Association

If you have been a mentor, please let your graduate student know about this new group so that they can get involved. Lili can be contacted via the JA office: 044-415-117-3006

JA Students at Universidad Allende In August of 2011, San Miguel celebrated along with municipal and educational authorities of Grupo UNE (University New Education), the official opening of the Allende University. This institution offers new opportunity for Jovenes Adelante students to choose from a curriculum of 8 undergraduate degrees. Among the university degrees offered are nutrition, gastronomy, education, communication sciences, tourism, digital graphic design, psychology and law. The newly constructed campus also has a Language Center where English, French, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Italian, and Spanish are taught, a radio station, an industrial kitchen for the gastronomy students, a library and lots of green outdoor space for sports. The Municipio of San Miguel has invited Jovenes Adelante, along with 3 other local NGO’s to partake in the recruitment and selection of scholarship candidates to study at University Allende. So far Jovenes Adelante has successfully submitted applications for 8-canidates and all have been accepted. The impact of this institution will be important for Jovenes Adelante as we seek better educational opportunities for San Miguel students. The educational mission of the University of Allende is to provide academic instruction aimed at quality and excellence in the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge. The institution seeks to develop leadership skills for the development of entrepreneurs, and professionals whose productive inclusion in society contributes to raising of living standards. This fits well with Jovenes Adelante.


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We Have Our Facturas JA now has facturas and this will hopefully make us more attractive to Mexican business, institutions and citizens who pay taxes in Mexico. A factura is a fiscally valid receipt, which is important to have if you intend to deduct your expenses from your Mexican taxes, or in the case of tourists, to receive a sales tax refund when you exit Mexico. According to Real Estate consultant James Glover of Baja California, “sale tax (I.V.A.) must be collected and included on every factura” This means additional accounting effort for JA, but it will also means that we are being fiscally responsible and are looking at new long-term avenues of revenue. Starting at the beginning of 2010, Mexico implemented an electronic facturization system. For the first year the system was optional for whoever wanted to try it and get their customers used to it, after January 1, 2011, the new system is required for all businesses that generate less than a certain amount of income per year. For small businesses, the paper facturas that are left over can be used until they run out, at which point we’ll have to switch to electronic facturas. JA board members will attend a conference to keep up-to-date with the latest changes in Mexican laws. To make a contribution, contact

Our Volunteers are the Life Blood of Jovenes Adelante

PROFILE: Patricia Flores , General Administrative Assistant

Patricia joined JA in July of

Annual Volunteer Luncheon Thank you volunteers! You are the lifeblood of Jovenes Adelante's very existence. You make this possible because of your contributions of time and talent. Your dedication to our efforts and to our community can be seen in your work and efforts on behalf of JA. As our highly skilled volunteers you design our programs, present our trainings, and interact with our students and potential students. You provide all of our services from assessing the needs of our organizations, to facilitating trainings, mentoring students, forging strategic alliances, strengthening our board, as well as developing strategic plans and helping us to raise funds for scholarships. Each year JA honors the contributions of our volunteers by hosting a Volunteer Recognition Luncheon. February, 16, 2012, at Casa Luna, Quebrada #117, 1:00 pm ,$150 pesos - R.S.V.P. 044-117-3006

2011. As our General Administrative Assistant, Patricia plans, coordinates, and executes a broad range of tasks that allow the JA organization to operate efficiently. Most importantly, she provides the administrative and record keeping support in areas where no volunteers are available, ensuring that the needs are met in multiple critical areas of operations. She has become an asset to the organization as we strive to better serve our students.


Jovenes Adelante is Requesting Nominees for Election Every year Jovenes Adelante members elect officers for the upcoming two year term. We invite you to nominate yourself or other members for the following board positions: Treasurer, VP Student Programs, VP Fundraising, VP Marketing, VP Administration. If you choose to nominate someone other than yourself, please confirm with your nominee that she or he is a member of JA (or willing to become one) and that she or he is willing to serve for a two year period. Please email nomination(s) to indicating the office for which the nomination is being made. Also, please include the email address and local SMA telephone number of your nominee(s). Your nominee(s) will be seriously considered by the Nominating Committee in its decision making process.

For more information about these positions contact Stephanie Hough:

Deadline for receipt of nominations is Tuesday, January 31, 2012. Our Annual Meeting and Elections will be held at Casa Luna B&B, Quebrada #117 on Thursday, February 16, at 2:00 PM.

Helping the Brightest Light up the World

Jóvenes Adelante A.C.

Aldama #3, PMB 49-A San Miguel de Allende Guanajuato, C.P. 37700

Phone: 415-117-3006 E-mail:

From this current economic crisis we must create new opportunities, making your participation now more important than ever before. Board Treasurer (2-years) The role of the Treasurer is primarily to provide financial oversight for the organization. Typical task areas include budgeting and financial planning, financial reporting, and the creation and monitoring of internal controls and accountability policies. Vice President of Student Programs (2-years)

Develops, adopts and recommends to the Executive Committee strategies under which scholarship and student affairs policies and procedures should be administered. Oversees implementation of the scholarship recruiting and selection pro-cesses and all aspects of student affairs and student services. Vice President of Administration (2-years) Provide leadership and coordination of the various administrative auxiliary and maintenance services needed to support the organization. Ensure that these services are of the highest quality and are provided to JA students, volunteers and staff in the most responsive and cost effective manner possible. Develops, adopts, and recommends to the executive committee strategies under which internal controls policies and procedures should be administered. Vice President of Fundraising (2-years) Develops, adopts, and recommends to the executive committee strategies under which fundraising policies and procedures should be administered. Oversees implementation of fundraising strategies, searches for new funding opportunities and promotes awareness of the JA mission and objectives in both the national and expatriate communities. Vice President of Marketing (2-years)

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Plans, and directs marketing policies and programs, such as determining our target markets for income and identifying potential donors. Develops branding strategy and donor levels with the goal of maximizing the JA’s outreach for revenue while ensuring that our donors are properly cared for. Develops, adopts, and recommends to the executive committee strategies under which marketing policies and procedures should be administered. Directs marketing plans, communicates the message of how JA can be a positive influence in the community, and promotes awareness of the JA mission and objectives in both the Mexican & foreign community. Information about these positions contact us at :