Founded with the vision of expanding the educational opportunities and enriching the lives of our children through participation in mariachi music, the Mariachi Scholarship Foundation has made an enormous, positive impact on the lives of thousands of students in San Diego County, while helping to transform our community into one of the most vibrant and important centers of mariachi music education in the nation.
Research studies have shown that participation in music adds a powerful dimension to education—improving academic performance and self-esteem, lowering dropout rates, providing positive after-school experiences to keep students inspired—and these benefits increase exponentially within the culturally-relevant and family-oriented world of mariachi music.
By engaging students in mariachi music and by providing college scholarships, the Mariachi Scholarship Foundation works to create a unique, focused pipeline into higher education for San Diego County students.
Mariachi Education Programs
In 1996, mariachi education did not exist in our county’s public schools. Now, through the vision and support of the Mariachi Scholarship Foundation, there are nearly 20 middle-school and high-school programs offered across San Diego County, budding programs at SDSU and USD, and an associate degree in mariachi studies offered at Southwestern College. At any given time, there are approximately 1,000 students studying mariachi in San Diego area schools.
Since 1997 the MSF has provided college scholarships to students who graduate from mariachi and ballet folklórico programs we support. Our scholarship program is quite unique and very powerful: students who participate in mariachi for 2 or more years at a school supported by the Foundation, receive a cumulative “B” average or above, and who go directly into college after graduating high school (or directly to a 4-year university after graduating from Southwestern College) are guaranteed a college scholarship. While scholarships average $1000 per student, we also offer larger, competitive scholarships based on academic achievement, personal statements and teacher recommendations. Over the years the MSF has awarded over $450,000 to more than 400 students to support their higher education.