The University Scholarship Program

Yspaniola’s University Scholarship Program provides full university scholarships, extracurricular tutoring, and professional development to deserving students from Batey Libertad.

This program is designed to not only give students from Batey Libertad access to a college education, but also to support them in acquiring the skills they need to be successful in their chosen careers. Yspaniola supplements the academic coursework of each scholar with career counseling, internship opportunities, and individualized academic support and tutoring.

Yspaniola USP scholars and graduates are the ultimate goal of Yspaniola, providing access to quality education from pre-k through university. It is our hope that by supporting community members through university and into the workforce, we will also be supporting advocacy and advancement for the entire community of Batey Libertad.

Yspaniola’s first university scholars, Julio Louis and Federico Charle, graduated from the Santiago University of Technology (UTESA) in March 2014 and 2015 respectively. Yspaniola's third university scholar, Mayra Rodriguez, graduated from UTESA in July 2016. Most recently, Yspaniola's fourth university scholar, Ramón Sanchez, graduated from medical school at UTESA in July 2018. Currently, we support three scholars with tuition, transportation and stipends for extracurricular activities. Our scholars attend the Technological University of Santiago (UTESA) and the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) in the city of Mao.

In 2010, Yspaniola filmed this video about our university scholarship program. Since then, we are proud to have celebrated four graduations and added three new scholars to the program. Read on to meet them all!

Meet Dariana, Yspaniola Scholar
"Thank-you to God and thank-you to Yspaniola for giving me the opportunity to study at the university and achieve my dream, as well as my family's dream, of seeing me become a teacher."

Fernanda Dariana Liranzo was born in Batey Libertad and graduated from high school in 2011. After graduation, she worked long hours at a clothing factory in the Free Trade Zone of nearby Esperanza. At the beginning of 2015, Dariana commenced her studies at UASD in the city of Mao, where she currently studies Elementary Education. As a teenager, Dariana would help her mother clean the public elementary school in Batey Libertad. It was this experience that first inspired her to become a teacher and serve her community. Dariana is looking forward to graduating in 2020!

Meet Sofía, Yspaniola Scholar
“My goal is to not only earn a good grade, but also learn a lot — I like to understand and give back.”

After graduating from Liceo Matutino Maizán, Sofía was accepted in the University Scholarship Program and in January 2018 began her studies at the University of Santiago in Mao. She is majoring in Clinical Psychology, with the hopes of someday working as a children’s or school psychologist. Sofía has a strong interest in understanding people on a deeper level, and using that knowledge to provide support and look for solutions together. She explained, “Psychology is all about understanding people — how they are affected by their culture, their family, their experiences. Sometimes we judge people without understanding the reasons why they are a certain way. With psychology, you can try to find a solution to the problem.”

Meet Daniel, Yspaniola Scholar
"I am becoming more and more prepared to teach kids and I want to continue learning new methodologies and strategies to teach them. I like teaching in the community because I am from here."

Daniel Luis Joseph was working as a full-time teacher in Yspaniola’s Learning Center before receiving his scholarship. Daniel graduated from High School at el Liceo Vespertino Maizal, topping his class and earning the title ‘Estudiante de Máxima Excelencia’ (Student of Maximum Excellence). With more than 3 years collaborating with Yspaniola, Daniel is now enjoying his second year at UTESA, studying Psychology. Daniel also hopes to work with children in future.

Meet Ramón, Yspaniola Scholar Graduate
“It’s a blessing I will be able to become a good doctor and help people in my community. I see every day as an opportunity to be better and try harder. I’m very thankful.”

Ramón Sanchez is a medical student currently completing his residency. His dream is to become a doctor and to serve others, especially those who need medical care in his community. Prior to enrolling at UTESA, where he has been studying Medicine, Ramón was an honors student at his high school. He also served as a trainer and leader in Deportes Para La Vida, a program that educates young people around the country about HIV/AIDS prevention.

Meet Mayra, Yspaniola Scholar Graduate
“Thanks to Yspaniola my dream of becoming a Natural Sciences Teacher is becoming a reality. Further, I’ve found new purpose, which includes working with others so that they can fulfill their dreams.”

Mayra Altagracia Rodríguez Helena graduated near the top of her class from high school Liceo Vespertino Maizal in the spring of 2010. Despite her clear academic abilities, her family’s limited financial resources prevented her from advancing on to university. With an Yspaniola scholarship, Mayra graduated in July 2016 with a degree in Education and Natural Sciences at UTESA. Today, she is in her fourth year working as a teacher in Yspaniola's Learning Center!

Meet Julio, Yspaniola Scholar Graduate
“Yspaniola is the essential tool I’ve had to develop intellectually and as a citizen. It has allowed me to advocate for my community and has encouraged me to participate in extra-curricular activities in Santiago”

Julio Louis was born in Batey Libertad. After he graduated high school, community leaders recognized Julio’s potential, and they worked together to raise funds for Julio to begin attending university. He began studying tourism at UTESA in 2009, where he excelled, and he was accepted into Yspaniola’s scholarship program in May 2012. Julio is involved in several groups that promote socially aware, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly tourism on Hispaniola, and currently is Yspaniola's Director of Operations. Julio is also an accomplished rapper and songwriter.

Meet Fede, Yspaniola Scholar Graduate
“Yspaniola represents hope. It has helped us realize we can accomplish the goals that seemed to be just far away dreams. Education is definitely the tool to develop one’s potential and make dreams come true.”

Federico Charle grew up in Batey Libertad alongside five siblings. He graduated from high school Liceo Vespertino Maizal in the spring of 2008, when he began working in rice fields and in construction in order to help support his family. The work was arduous, and did not pay well enough for him to save money for school. After receiving an Yspaniola University Scholarship, Fede successful graduated from UTESA in 2015 with a degree in Modern Languages. Two years later, Fede graduated from Universitat de Valencia in Spain with a degree in Literary and Languages Investigation.