Stephanie's Education Fund

$1,035 of $800 goal

Raised by 19 people in 23 months
Season's Greetings.

First, I want to send a great big shout out to two generous donors who helped Stephanie this month:

Babe, by the way, made her donation straight to my bank account, as some donors are preferring to do because of the hefty percent that GoFundMe takes from every contribution.

I have since updated my PayPal Account, so that donations can be deposited directly to my bank account online if a donor prefers that! It's certainly saves the trouble of going to  a bank branch.

Janis and Babe helped me to get through the 2017 calendar year expenses and I thank God for that as I had vastly underestimated how much Stephanie's first year of high school is costing with all the extra fees, many and very many extracurricular events, fees for achievement tests, and meals daily snacks--which I had neglected to think about much at all.

Kids need their snacks and a couple of snacks here and a couple there in a day or on a field trip or something and pretty soon, you're talking real money!

Seriously, many thanks to Janis and Babe and for all of you who have supported this cause this year!!!!

Happy New Year!

First of all, I need to give a big, belated thank you to Jered Cadey for a $100 donation to Stef's high school Fund, and to my friend Kay Anderson for $50.

Stephanie's plan is down to about U.S.$100, with $50 of that yet to be paid for the first year's tuition.

Back in September her school decided to let us parents and guardians to set up payment plans, so I've been paying out her tuition out in monthly installments of US$25. I'll be done after the December and January payments.

So the first year of schooling is pretty much covered, although donations are always welcome because unexpected expenses of the sort I didn't budget for in the original $800 goal are constantly popping up. Many of which I've paid out of pocket and that's OK. I'm not complaining considering how much relief the donations I've had for this first year have given me and my pocketbook.

And please be mindful as well that this fund is for her four years of education and not just this first year.

Finally, Stephanie received her mid-term report card for the first semester and has a good solid B average! 

The only black mark is a 57 in English I, which she is already bringing up.

For more on all this please see my blog post at:

Many thanks and grace and peace!

Hello from me and Stephanie Garcia, who started school at St. Ignatius High School on August 28.

Except for a balance of $213BZ ($106.50 US) on her tuition for this first year, most all of Stephanie's expenses have been paid for the year.

HOWEVER.... donations are always welcome for the three remaining years of her high school education for deposit in a credit union fund.

For more info about money spent and some pictures, go to my blog at : 
Check it out!


You can also find the blog link at my Facebook page in the name Paul David McKay in Belize.

Stephanie begins her first-full year of high school on August 28, so I will have another update about funds I will be spending on the balance of tuition, books, supplies and all the other cost of her first year of school.

Many thanks for your generous donations!!!!

Paul McKay and Stephanie Garcia

* * * * *

As most of my friends and loved ones who follow me on Facebook or on my blog know, I agreed four years ago to  be the adoptive father of a Belizean baby girl before she was born.

Fortunately, my beloved daughter Ludy Paulita McKay came out healthy and full of personality. Friends  who know me know that I call her by the nickname I gave here: Miss Belize!

In taking on the responsibility of fully supporting Paulita as her father for as long as I live or am able, I also took on, to a great extent, responsibility for supporting Paulita's older siblings who have no other father figure in their lives.

The siblings are Felix Garcia, 12, and Stephanie, Garcia, 14.

So the purpose of this fund is to raise enough money to finance  Stephanie in her first year of high school. She recently graduated from Standard VI, what is the American equivalent of 8th grade or middle school.

Attending high school in Belize is not mandatory--and it is not affordable for so many kids like Stephanie. Her mom Lourdes is a great mom who struggles to bring in what money she can by sewing jobs and selling tamales and tortillas on the streets.

I'm extremely proud of Steph because a little more than a year ago, she was still struggling in school so much that I believed she would never have the grades to go on to high school. Even, sometimes, in the past year!

But my own often frustrating years of tutoring her--and of teachers and others helping her--finally paid off. Steph became such a good student that she recently graduated from St. Andrew's Anglican School and passed the high-school entrance exam, and received a "certificate of merit" for her exception grade in math --by far her strongest subject.

In spite of my former pessimism about her education, Stephanie has been accepted to attend a Catholic High School, St. Ignatius in Santa Elena, BZ, in the fall. It is the smaller of the two Catholic schools in town, the other being a far better high school where the tuition is almost double the one Stephanie will attend.

But that's not to say that St. Ignatius High School is bad. For one thing, teachers there are able to give extra attention personally to students because of the small size. Not so much at the far larger and higher-priced high school.

Education beyond Standard VI (sort of like 8th grade level in the US) is very expensive for Belizean kids everywhere. Steph's tuition for one year will be $600 US (that's $1200 BZ). But of course fees and extra costs run up the costs considerably: uniforms, books, workbooks, lab fees, field trips, meals, and so on. (A lot of former students have given her books she needs but there are a lot of new workbooks and supplies and things that are expensive.) 

The local mayor gave Steph a $150 US grant for her deposit to enroll, but another $150 USis due on July 4th, which is registration day. After that, the school accepts monthly payments.

I hope to raise at least $800 to have plenty of financial breathing room for the first year of Steph's education. Of course, more than the $800 will be accepted, gratefully, for the future years.

Because I don't have dual citizenship and can't have a Belizean banking or savings account, the most expedititous way to take donations is for donors to deposit into my personal Bank of America account, since GoFundMe is not supported in Belize.

I can personally assure donors that there will be transparency in the form of pictures of transactions, updates on Steph's progress, etc., here and on my FB page and blog.

Stephanie is a wonderful, polite young lady--she received a certificate of merit of good behavior for her six years of school at St. Andrew's!

While she has struggled and struggles still with academics, she applied herself and has come a very long way and is now motivated and eager to learn and obtain an education--even college some day!

Donations in any amounts will help alleviate the costs and will be greatly appreciated, as will prayers for Steph and her entire family --and prayers for me as I continue to support not only little Miss Belize but her family as well in every way I can.

Many thanks and grace and peace,
+ Read More
With a big "Oops." Yesterday I asked that donors go to my blog with the intention of suggesting they donate to my PayPaul Bank of America checking account at

PayPaul charges a fee of a few cents and is a far easier way to contributing anyway.

However, I've not had a chance to update the Blog with this information and with more about how Stephanie's first school year went.

Suffice to say here that she finished with a 3.4 grade point average, which is amazing considering she could barely read and write in English when I started tutoring her.

Anyway, I will get around soon to updating the schooling progress of Stephanie and her siblings I also support at my blog.

Those who receive updates here at the GoFund campaign can donate anytime here or, again, at my PayPal account above since most people prefer it.

Stef starts back to school in only a month and I'm making a $250 partial tuition payment out of my pocket to cover that. But she will be needing far more for leftover tuition, books and supplies, field trips and so many other expenses that I didn't anticipate in seeking $1,600 BZ last year. It actually takes several thousands more than that to get through a school year.

Thanks and blessings for you donors have done and will do (with a shoutout for the steady support of my great friend Kevin Moran in Galveston for a donation he made here today!)

More to come at
+ Read More
Stephanie has completed her first year of high school with an impressive 3.4 grade point average, with one C and a C+ among all the A's and B's!

For a fuller update, go to my blog at
+ Read More
I've updated Stephanie's progress today, Feb. 28, 2018, at

Please go there for more information about her first year of high school and alternative ways to donate to finance her education.
+ Read More
Hello, friends, for an update to Stephanie's Education Fund, please go to the Dec. 28, 2017 edition of

In short, she continues to make great progress in her first year of high school!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$1,035 of $800 goal

Raised by 19 people in 23 months
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Kevin Dietrich
10 months ago
Kevin Moran
10 months ago
Kevin Moran
14 months ago
Jered Cady
19 months ago
Kay Anderson
20 months ago
Linda Kovak
21 months ago
Kevin Dietrich
22 months ago
Cathy Gordon
22 months ago
Susan Leddy
22 months ago
Michael Brinkman
23 months ago
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