The Lydia Patterson Institute (LPI) in El Paso, Texas provides access to quality education for underserved portions of the population. The tradition of LPI dates to the early years of the 20th century when Methodist laywoman Lydia Patterson began setting up schools in El Paso homes for boys from the local barrios. When Patterson died in 1909, her husband sought to continue her legacy by creating a permanent school in her memory. Four years later, construction began on LPI. Within a decade, the school became known as one of the only organizations in the country to emphasize English as a second language education.
More than a century later, the school remains a central part of the local community, serving students from El Paso and the nearby Mexican city of Juarez. More than 400 students attend LPI; the majority call Juarez home and make the daily commute across the border to attend school. More than 95% of LPI students graduate and 98% of graduates attend colleges across the United States. According to the LPI webpage, students in the graduating class of 2010 earned more than 2.1 million dollars in competitive scholarships.
FUMC Coppell serves LPI through a number of initiatives. Each year, the church provides a $4,500 scholarship, which covers a school uniform, textbooks, and meals for one student. The church also provides gift cards for every Lydia Patterson teacher during the Christmas season to provide their families with a holiday meal. When available, FUMC Coppell also hosts a summer LPI intern who lives with a host family in Coppell, and the student is trained in church and ministry operations.
Church Contact: Del Dunham at firstname.lastname@example.org