IME-Becas Scholarships at Inver Hills

Six students awarded scholarships in FY2017

Inver Hills Community College was one of seven Minnesota colleges and universities to receive a grant from Consul Gerardo Guerrero, Consulate of Mexico in Saint Paul. Guerrero presented grants from the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME—Institute for Mexicans Abroad) Fellowship Program to colleges and universities in Minnesota to benefit Mexican or Mexican-American students. The presentation took place during a ceremony hosted by Consulate of Mexican in Saint Paul following the October 2016 meeting of the Minnesota State Board of Trustees. Inver Hills was chosen to receive $4,000 for the IME-Becas 2016–2017 Program.

Previous IME-Becas grants include $10,000 in 2015 and $3,000 in 2016. Inver Hills matches the grants and 30 students have received scholarships via the program. Javier Salinas Vega, director of diversity and underrepresented student recruitment, working with the Financial Aid Office and Inver Hills Foundation, wrote the IME-Becas grant proposals.

Consul Guerrero and Oswaldo Cabrera, also from the Consulate of Mexico in Saint Paul, visited the Inver Hills campus Thursday, March 16, 2017, for a brief ceremony in the College Center. Also present at the ceremony were representatives from Inver Hills, including Javier, Gail Morrison, executive director of the Inver Hills Foundation, Emily Dowdle, assistant director of financial aid, and Ruby Murillo, academic advisor for TRIO and Travelers EDGE.

IME_12Alba Villaldama Lopez

Sophomore at Inver Hills
Hometown: Temoac, Morelos, Mexico
Academic program: Emergency Medical Services
IME-Becas scholarship: $500
Transfer and career plans: Complete A.S. in EMS and go on to be a paramedic

“The IME-Becas Scholarship Program addresses under education, a critical challenge faced by 12 million Mexican immigrants and millions more Americans of Mexican origin in the U.S.,” Javier said. “The program’s mission is to improve access opportunities for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans at all educational levels and ultimately lead to the improvement of their social and economic mobility.”

Last year, the Consulate of Mexico in Saint Paul in collaboration with recipient IME-Becas institutions, through their financial commitment of matching funds, were able to grant a total of 227 Mexican and Mexican-American students more than $450,000 in aid to continue or complete their education.

Inver Hills IME-Becas FY2017 scholarship recipients

  • Oscar Corral
  • Yunnuen Gomez Sanchez
  • Yeseni Arevalo
  • Vianney Regalado Ramirez
  • Sandra Vargas Flores
  • Alba Villaldama Lopez

More about the Consulate of Mexico in Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Consulate of Mexico in Saint Paul offers services to residents in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and northern counties in Wisconsin.

Our mission is to represent Mexico; to preserve relations with federal, state and local authorities and to strengthen friendship and cooperation, according with our foreign policy. Also, the Consulate has the obligation to protect the rights of Mexican Nationals living in the district of our responsibility to provide documents to Mexicans and nationals of different countries, according to Mexican Law, and to promote ties with the Mexican communities. — Courtesy of the Consulate of Mexico in Saint Paul

Consulate of Mexico visits Inver Hills


Student spotlight: Yesenia Arevalo

Yesenia Arevalo

Yesenia Arevalo

Yesenia Arevalo, 26, is originally from Juárez, Mexico, the largest city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Juárez when combined with El Paso, Texas, has a population of more than 2.7 million people, forming the second largest binational metropolitan area on the Mexico–U.S. border.

Today, Yesenia lives in Inver Grove Heights with her 6-year-old daughter, a kindergartner named Giselle. Yesenia came to Minnesota at the age of four when her parents decided living in Juárez had become too dangerous due to drug cartel violence and an escalating female homicide rate.

“My uncle on my mom’s side lived in Minnesota,” Yesenia recalled. “He is a U.S. citizen and he helped us when we got to the U.S. My dad carried my brother across the border; my mom carried me. My dad got a job two days after arriving in Minnesota.”

A 2009 graduate of Saint Bernard’s, a Catholic high school in St. Paul, Yesenia is a student in the Nursing program at Inver Hills, studying the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) dual-enrollment curriculum. She plans to continue in MANE to earn her Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) from Metropolitan State University in fall 2019. Her career plans are centered on working as a registered nurse (RN) in an emergency room.

Yesenia is bilingual in Spanish and English and has several years of experience serving as an interpreter mostly in a medical and legal capacity. Her work as an interpreter helping people with health issues inspired her to become a nurse. She also has her cosmetology license and works while going to school at Xprespa at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

When she gets the chance, Yesenia loves to dance, especially Latin dance. “Most of my free time is spent raising my daughter, Giselle, or hanging out with my family,” she said. “I’m always with my family.”

Gerardo Guerrero, Yesenia Arevalo, Oswaldo Cabrera

Gerardo Guerrero, Yesenia Arevalo, Oswaldo Cabrera

Yesenia Arevalo | 21 Answers
  1. IME_26Favorite season: Fall
  2. Favorite natural feature (e.g., waterfalls, oceans, mountains, etc.): Oceans
  3. Favorite sport or physical activity: Dancing
  4. Your national bird if you could have one: Golden eagle
  5. Place you would most like to visit: Mexico
  6. Favorite holiday: TBD
  7. Your national mammal if you could have one: Jaguar
  8. Favorite actor or actress: Denzel Washington
  9. IME_25Favorite band or performing artist: TBD
  10. Your personal motto if you had to have one: “Do what you can with what you have.”
  11. Coolest thing in the world: Birth
  12. Scariest thing in the world:  Hate
  13. Favorite all-time TV show: One Day at a Time
  14. Favorite all-time movie: Without Instructions
  15. One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Give back to my parents
  16. Most precious material possession: Do not have one
  17. IME_24First thing you would buy if you won the $1.5 billion Powerball: Homes for my family in Mexico
  18. Dream vacation: Mexico
  19. Person(s) you would most like to meet: My grandparents
  20. Skill you would most like to learn and master: How to fix cars
  21. Humankind’s greatest challenge: Understanding
To learn more about the Center for Diversity and Equity at Inver Hills, contact:

Javier Salinas Vega
Director of Diversity and Underrepresented Student Recruitment

To learn more about the Inver Hills Foundation, contact:

Gail Morrison
Executive Director of Foundation and Community Relations


Ruby Murillo, Gerardo Guerrero, Alba Villaldama Lopez, Javier Salinas Vega, Yunnuen Gomez Sanchez, Gail Morrison, Emily Dowdle

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