The Jesusita and Santos Baros Courage and Fortitude Fund
Since 2016, the Jesusita and Santos Baros Courage & Fortitude Fund has funded several True Potential Scholarships to celebrate the immigrant heritage of the Fund's founder, Jane Shanahan. Jane is the daughter of Santos and granddaughter of Jesusita Baros. She has embarked in an exciting journey to reconnect with her long lost Mexican family; going through dozens of letters and hundreds of pictures to try to learn more about them. In 2015 Jane and her husband Steve created the Jesusita and Santos Baros Courage & Fortitude Fund to honor their memory.
Read Jane's letter below to learn more about her story.
Honoring Courage and Foritude
Jesusita wrote in her letters to her daughter, Santos Baros, of getting an education, otherwise 'you work like a donkey'. Jesusita took English and citizenship classes. She wrote in her letters to Santos she was old but loved to learn!
What courage and fortitude it took to withstand prejudice and judging from others.
Almost 100 years ago a young woman, Jesusita, traveled northward to take achance on the hope of a better life for herself and her youngest children.
She needed courage, fortitude and stamina to face a new beginning without knowing the language or the culture. She had the added responsibility of 2 toddlers to feed and shelter. It had to have been scary! Who knew what lay on the other side of the Mexican border?
She took that chance and stepped across, thereby fulfilling her destiny.
Earliest records find her in New Mexico. She then traveled with her children to Wyoming, following the sugar beet work, and finally settled in Colorado.
Jesusita was also able to help other immigrants along the way. When she built her home in Ft. Lupton, CO, she had several rentals built on the land to help the newly arrived with food, shelter, and finding work. She was quite the entrepreneur!
Jesusita taught her children to accept and embrace the traditions of their new country. Her daughter, Santos Baros, took on her new culture with the same courage and fortitude her mother had done. She left the safety of life in Colorado and married, moved to Nebraska, and started a new beginning. Santos also dealt with prejudice and judging in Southeast Nebraska. She faced it and had the stamina to overcome it.
While neither of these women were able to go to college, it is because of these two ladies, my grandmother and my mom, I am able to honor them with The Jesusita and Santos Baros Courage and Fortitude Fund.
Elizabeth Jane Shanahan