Fernando Sandoval ’15, Andrea Cruz ’14, Rebecca Hicks, ’15 and Krisztina Pjeczka ’15
This team of students is involved with and committed to ¡Integrando a Mexico!, an organization that was created under the umbrella of the United World Colleges movement. It began in 2010 as an initiative to bring together indigenous and non-indigenous youth in Mexico, and continued in 2011 as a platform to identify and encourage potential young changemakers. This summer’s ¡Integrando a Mexico! program is hosting fifty participants, ages fifteen to eighteen, from varied socioeconomic backgrounds and regions of Mexico. The four Middlebury students, alongside thirteen other UWC students and alumni, will lead the participants through community service opportunities and workshops on conflict resolution, creativity, social issues and civic engagement. Each participant will also receive guidance when developing his or her personal project—a project that attempts to improve an identified issue in his or her respective community. Fernando, Andrea, Rebecca and Krisztina believe that the younger generations have potential to be Mexico’s greatly needed social change agents.
After receiving the initial $3,000 grant for their summer project, this group was given an additional $2,000 grant. The MCSE selected to allocate $5,000 to this particular initiative after hearing their idea pitch. These grants are being used to help pay for a portion of the total overall cost to run the program—$13,000. Obtaining this amount of money has allowed the group to accept participants regardless of an individual’s ability to pay for the course; it enables the project to perform a need blind and merit-based application process. Hopefully, the work this group carries out this summer will encourage ¡Integrando a Mexico! to expand—to occur more frequently than once a year in Mexico, and to eventually reach and establish programs in other countries.