Ten years ago, Falls Church lost Shelton Davis, or Sandy to his friends and family. His wife Mary and children Rebecca and Peter, during their time of grief, asked the Maya Educational Foundation (MEF) if it could help them establish a fund in his honor. Since Sandy had done anthropological fieldwork in the western highland region of Guatemala, such a fund was to help Maya youth in that region with their education. As MEF already had a program underway in Todos Santos Cuchumatan, the idea became a plan, the plan became action and reality.
Since 2010, promoting education for Maya children from poor economic backgrounds in that region has been the mission of the Shelton H. Davis Memorial Fund, also known as the Shelton H. Davis Scholarship Fund. In these past ten years, the Fund has allowed a continuous group of students to attend school, on average five students, now up to seven. Friends, colleagues and family have been the core group of support to this fund that has over this past decade raised just over 100,000 dollars. The scholarship students were children whose families would not have sent them to higher levels of schooling had it not been for the scholarships they received.
At university level, costs for each student go up dramatically from what they were when the students were in elementary, middle or high school.
The redefined thrust of the fund from 2020 on will be to provide university scholarships for students from the Santa Eulalia/Todos Santos region, with a fundraising target of $2,500 per year per student. University level is much sought after in Guatemala and hard to obtain with most Mayas lacking the resources.
Anyone who would like to support this goal and want to make a 10th year anniversary donation to the Fund in Sandy’s honor can do so safely at mayaedufound.org and be sure to put Shelton Davis in the dedication line.