PR Students Help Families Overcome Poverty in Puerto Vallarta

Students in Hsin-Yen Yang’s writing for public relations class have constructed a public relations campaign, Envision Volcanes, Mexico, to help families in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, overcome the cycle of poverty.

The Volcanes Community Education Project is a non-government funded English and computer program free of charge for students in the community of Volcanes in Puerta Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.

Established in 2011, the program has striven to provide the best education for students who attend the additional classes on a voluntary basis. The program suffers from low teacher funding and educators are forced to work multiple jobs or resign.

Envision Volcanes was developed to ensure stability for the school’s teachers. Without the teachers, the Volcanes Community Education Project would not exist.

Yang, assistant professor of communication studies, along with Lorie Cook-Benjamin, assistant professor of teacher education, received a grant from FHSU’s Tilford Diversity Awareness Group.

“Dr. Young and I are both interested in providing our students with international experiences while promoting authentic learning through class projects,” said Cook-Benjamin. “Due to its diversity, the Volcanes Community Education Project was a natural fit for students in the Diverse Learners course. This was equally true for the Writing for Public Relations course, since the culminating project was development of a project for promotion on a crowdfunding site.”

The official launch date for the campaign is Monday, Nov. 24, and goes for 45 days. The goal of the crowdfunding project is to raise money to support the VCEP instructors.

The class has set up a Go Fund Me web site at GoFundMe.com/EnvisionVolcanes to collect donations. They can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The problem with the regular primary school curriculum is that there are no English teachers and no funds to purchase computers.  Thus the only English and computer training that they receive is through our supplemental/after school program.  The two most important skills required in the only industry in Puerto Vallarta, tourism, are English and computer.  Education and English/computer skills are the tools these students need to escape the poor areas of Volcanes and join the middle class in Puerto Vallarta. This school program is doing an outstanding job. Now, 80% of kinds in the town of Volcanes goes through to middle school. (source Mission to Mexico)

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