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applications than openings each year. Students must first pass a rigorous battery of standardized entrance exams. Then, after a presentation at the local CETMAR High School in Cabo San Lu-cas named Centro de Estudios Technológicos del Mar No.31, Pratt and her fellow volunteers carefully screen each application for academic standing and financial need. Personal interviews are conducted with each candidate and the program administrators also visit the student’s homes to verify the economic need for financial aid. Selected applicants and their parents must sign a contract of commitment before accepting the grant. “Without a supportive parental structure, students aren’t as motivated to stay in school,” Pratt explains. “They definitely need to have their parent’s support, so that’s why we have everyone sign the contract.” As a very well-known and highly respected institution, the University of La Paz receives more than 200 applications per year from throughout Mexico as well as Central and South America. Only 30 or so candidates 18 BISBEE’S CONSERVATION JOURNAL Q1/Q2 • 2016


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