This fund will provide scholarships for students who are the first in their families to attend high school in Caye Caulker, Belize (school is not free in Belize). Ocean Academy, Caye Caulker's first high school (opened in 2008), provides academic and job skills programs that enable children to break free from systemic poverty. Canadian singer/songwriter Danny Michel will visit the scholarship recipients and work alongside the students to repair the most urgent needs of the school building.
In Belize, education is expensive due to school fees, books, and uniforms; most children are forced out of the educational system and are often left with marginal literacy and numeracy skills. They struggle to find low paying jobs. This continues generation after generation. Families who try to break the cycle face academic challenges. Large class sizes and limited ability to receive help at home often mean failing the primary school exit exam. Only 40% of youth nationwide attend high school.
Ocean Academy provides financial support to 85% of students through scholarships, tuition bartering, and work study. Free tutoring, small classes, and individualized attention build core skills and empower students to believe in their futures. Students learn valuable job skills in entrepreneurship classes and earn tuition through student-led ventures such as kayak and bike tours, and selling culinary herbs.
For the first time, a full generation of villagers will be educated beyond primary school. They will lead their developing country out of crime and become stewards of Belize's fragile barrier reef.
Danny Michel Fundraising Site
Ocean Academy photos and stories
Danny Michel music website