San Miguel Angels for Education Aim to Improve the Community
By Amy Kuether
San Miguel Angels for Education (SMAFE) was established by San Miguel resident Naomi Lawler three years ago to improve the lives of local children without access to resources and to create a network for these children within the community. The organization leverages community resources to provide opportunities for children in orphanages that go beyond the walls of the school and integrate children in the community into a social network that enables their success and the success of San Miguel.
SMAFE’s mission is to support and invest in the education of children in orphanages and provide access to private primary, secondary, and higher education. But SMAFE goes beyond access. It delivers the tools for student success through technology, bilingual education, tutoring, and relationships with mentors. This process provides not only crucial academic preparation, but also instills self-esteem to empower tomorrow’s leaders.
This year, SMAFE, in coordination with the Ventanas de San Miguel Golf Resort, will host its third annual charity golf tournament “Ventanas de Oportunidad” to raise funds for these efforts. The tournament, to be held on June 6, is still seeking players and critical donations for the silent auction.
This year’s tournament will feature an appearance by former LPGA golfer and world champion Lorena Ochoa whose work supporting educational opportunities for Mexico’s disadvantaged children is widely regarded. The event will also include the silent auction noted above and a catered lunch by San Miguel’s finest caterers, Alicia Vilar and Armando Prats.
The tournament is critical in raising funds to support SMAFE’s mission. Golfer participation, sponsor support, and silent auction donations are key to the success of this event. SMAFE is able to issue a tax-deductible receipt for all donations. In addition, SMAFE will accept direct monetary donations or donations of time from qualified professionals.
SMAFE supports children in orphanages through private bilingual education that includes access to high quality English instruction. However, critical to the success of these efforts are mentoring, counseling, and community service projects. Through these activities children grow from feeling rejected and powerless, to something larger and empowered. We cannot change the past, but through quality programming we can create a better future for our community.
Counselors, psychologists, educators, and other professionals with a skill to donate enable the success of SMAFE and the children of San Miguel which will help combat local cycles of violence and poverty.
Almost half of Mexicans are below or at the poverty line and those that suffer most are often girls. Girls who lack opportunities for education are more likely to become pregnant at younger ages and perpetuate a cycle of poverty and lack of opportunity. Lack of opportunity can also lead to involvement in crime and violence, which in turn hamper economic development and create insecurity. This insecurity negatively impacts children’s educational attainment. It is a cycle that must be broken.
For more information on the tournament and opportunities to volunteer for SMAFE, contact Naomi Lawler at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.angelsforeducation.org.