Cesar Fierro, Aspiring Baker
Each spring, as a part of our scholarship programs, EJP hosts two scholarship competitions for individuals in Mexico. The scholarships provide support for people with previous connections to incarceration to study at secondary or post-secondary institutions in Mexico. César Fierro, one of the recipients of this year’s scholarships, says he wants to use it “so he can have something in his hands to show that he knows something” and can support his community.
César resides currently in Mexico City. He found out about EJP’s scholarship through friends and family.
César was incarcerated for 41 years on death row in Livingston, Texas—and spent more than 10 years in solitary confinement—before his death sentence was vacated and he was deported to Mexico. He says there were no classes or extracurricular offerings while he was incarcerated, and little access to educational and creative resources other than a small library. He says that once he returned to his community, he had little knowledge about technology.
He learned quickly that without an education, he would have a harder time financially supporting himself and his loved ones. César says that because of this, he plans to start taking bakery classes right away.
He is currently training at a hotel, which provides him with a transportation and meal stipend. His passion for baking will hopefully take him to a school in Mexico City where he can earn a baking certificate and press forward toward his goals. He is most excited to take courses on European baking.
Those wanting to apply for scholarships or learn more about EJP resources can find tools and information on our website: https://educationjustice.net/resources/
EJP also offers a guide for people who face deportation to Mexico and Central America. It’s called A New Path: A Guide to the Challenges and Opportunities After Deportation and is available for free download on our website at educationjustice.net/reentry