Minority Care International offers scholarships to bright students who have the potential to graduate from college but have no hope because of their economical plight. Carefully monitoring their study and mentoring them, MCI addresses the scholars holistically. Beside their college classes, they work at a coffee shop, learning life and workplace skills. The students engage in weekly forums to discuss currents issues, plan and conduct service learning projects, attend a study retreat in the summer, live in a residence with assigned tasks, and participate in sports as well as in other competitions. Students come from varying villages, faiths, and tribes, some in conflict, but they live and work side by side in the MCI program.
Scholars' Service Projects
In collaboration with Restoring Vision, Minority Care International sets up clinics in impoverished communities with limited access to vision services, distributing reading glasses. As a service learning project, MCI students make arrangements, secure a volunteer ophthalmologist, and lead the community clinics. MCI nursing students give eye exams and dispense the strength which restores sight immediately and improves lives.
Tools for Schools
As a service initiative, MCI scholars provide students in need with backpacks with school supplies. The scholars purchase and present the tools needed to succeed to children at schools with few resources, hosting a party, and sharing their stories about their own educational struggles and success for this community outreach.
Minority Care International operates The Turkish Coffee House to teach its scholars life and workplace skills. Scheduling their daily work hours around classes, the students serve customers, learn communication skills, and keep the facility clean. A weekly forum is held at the shop, as well as cultural and family nights. Between shifts students are mentored regarding academic and personal growth.
Joining the program
MCI recruits students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Candidates may apply online or in person by contacting the MCI office to schedule an appointment. All candidates for scholarships will have an intense interview to determine their potential for success and their commitment to college completion.
Jerwin J. Capuras (graduated 2013)
MCI scholar Jerwin Capuras graduated with honors in 2014 with a degree in nursing and began working in Davao City at a local hospital as a surgical nurse. After gaining experience, he participated in surgeries on the Mercy Ship off of Benin. Joining an international humanitarian aid organization, Samaritan’s Purse, he used his surgical nursing skills in Mosul when the fighters were liberating it from ISIS and then in Bangladesh in a field hospital among the Rohingya refugees. In South Sudan he experienced a difficult life but gained the knowledge and experience of running an intricate feeding centre. Subsequently, he moved to Sierra Leone “for almost a year running and growing a hospital in a place that was heavily wrought by the impact of an Ebola outbreak.” He then took a project in Cameroon to manage a medical activity for the people affected by the ongoing Ambazonia war. “Our work is anchored on the principle of impartiality and neutrality and we work solely on the medical need alone regardless of which party of the conflict an individual is on.” Moving to another warzone, the region of Tigrae in Ethiopia, he witnessed a heavy war that killed thousands and displaced millions of people. Serving with Les Médecins Sans Frontières, he led and managed a medical team of local Tigrayan and “ran mobile clinic activities providing a full package of medical care among hard to reach areas.” He opened “a therapeutic feeding center which involved setting up a ten-bed nutrition ward to cater cases of severe acute malnutrition with complications.” Despite working in hard places where few would go—in war-torn areas with infectious diseases, famine, and brutality, Jerwin still sees the good, “The team I am working with in the project is composed of such amazing, dedicated and passionate medical workers.” Even after he lost colleagues in an ambush, he traveled to Yemen, where he transitioned into leadership roles to develop and support the health programs. When speaking to the current MCI scholars at the weekly forum, he said, “I was able to finish nursing school through the help of this organization [MCI] who chose me to become one of their scholars, they trusted in me, and they paid all of my of school expenses. I wouldn’t be who I am now without these people. And with this, I think, that the society has given me a lot, and when I have the capacity and opportunity, wherever in the world it is, I hope to give my humble contribution.”
Pearl Joy Bayanon
Pearl Joy Bayanon was born in the province of South Cotabato in 1990, and has four siblings, two sisters and two brothers. She belongs to the Ilonggo and Visaya Tribes. She came from a less-fortunate family, and at an early age was able to understand what poverty means. During her childhood years, particularly in grade school, every day she had to walk a couple of miles under the heat of the sun before reaching her school. Consequently, there were times when she would arrive at school late. Even today she cannot forget the embarrassment when her classmates teased her during recess because she did not have enough allowance and could not afford to buy anything to eat. Yet, she managed to understand her family's situation of having five children but no reliable source of income since her father was jobless because of his illness.
Before her graduation, her father passed away unexpectedly in 2002, the saddest part of her life. She left her hometown right after graduating from secondary school to go to Davao City where she was promised financial support so she could go to college but the reality resulted in her struggling to find a job to sustain her daily needs. After sacrificial times, she finally accepted an ESL position but again found it to be an abusive situation. When a friend told her about MCI, she interviewed with Sir Aland and explained about her lack of options. He offered her a job at its coffee shop, and, subsequently, she became a scholar. There she quickly gained and displayed leadership skills. She recognized that God had not abandoned her but had significant plans for her. Throughout her college studies, Joy led the other scholars in academics, community service projects, and mentoring, being selected as the President of the MCI Student Association. As part of the MCI Student Cultural Exchange Program, Joy studied Financial Accounting and Foundation of Social Work one semester at Texas A&M University- Commerce in Texas, USA, and interned at a financial investment company to learn about international practices.
After graduating from the University of Mindanao with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and passing the Licensure Examination for Social Work in 2016, she worked as a Foundation Supervisor under the DMIRIE Foundation, which implements sustainable holistic programs that uplift the lives of the poor but deserving Filipinos and their communities. Subsequently, Ms. Bayanon was accepted into law school and serves over the rehabilitation programs for CEBB while completing her law degree at the University of Mindanao Law School.
MCI Cultural Exchange Program
The MCI Cultural Student Exchange program is designed with the following objectives:
To supplement the student's theoretical knowledge with a practical work experience.
To provide opportunities to develop critical thinking, problem solving skills by being engaged in real life work situation.
To develop skills and an understanding of the work place to assist in the transition from the academia to the medical institutions after graduation.
To learn to work well with patients, other nurses, physicians, families, and other health care team members to give patient-centered care.
To broaden the student's experience by exposure to clinical experience in another culture.