Fundacion Mexico en Harvard

by | Oct 24, 2001

Edgar Kelly Garcia, a ’98 graduate of Harvard Business School, is busy wiring schools in his native state of Sinaloa, Mexico. After graduating from HBS, he founded an Internet company to provide computerized courses in the Sinaloa public school system. Some 500,000 students in this largely rural region may eventually profit from basic English instruction through this technology.

Miguel Alonzo, who graduated from HBS a year after Kelly Garcia, is also making a difference in his native Mexico. As general director of Endeavor, a non-profit organization, Alonzo is contributing to the economic, social, and cultural development of Mexico by promoting startup business enterprises.

Meanwhile, back at Harvard, Ernesto and Germán Treviño (not related), two Mexican doctoral students at the Graduate School of Education, are planning to return to Mexico after their studies to work on community development and issues of poverty.

And Mara Hernández, the new president of the Harvard University Mexican Association (HUMA), is planning to graduate next year (2002) with a masters in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government. She worked as a liaison with Mexican migrants during Vicente Fox’s presidential campaign, designing strategies to influence the families of 20 million Mexicans living in the United States. Before that, she founded Enlace Educativo, a non-governmental organization that sends college students to work with indigenous children in rural communities. She has also worked as a researcher and analyst on economic and social policy for the National Action Party.

These are just five of the 323 Mexican students who have studied at Harvard University with the assistance of the Fundación México, which has disbursed $1,864,520 in financial aid since it was started in the 1980s. The number of Mexican students admitted annually to Harvard University has more than doubled since the 1989-90 academic year, and the Fundación provides financial assistance for 40% of those students.

In the 2000/2001 academic year, 31 Mexican students received financial aid from the Fundación México for Harvard post-graduate programs. The Fundación also awarded the Fundación México en Harvard – Kennedy School Scholarship, a complete scholarship covering all expenses, to two Kennedy School candidates who will return to Mexico to work in public service.

In addition, the Fundación supported six Harvard doctoral candidates doing thesis research in Mexico.

Overall, the students for this past academic year come from nine different public and private universities in the Republic of Mexico.

“For the sake of the future of the country and the careers of the intelligent young men and women admitted to Harvard from Mexico, the Fundación will see that these promising Mexican students do not decline admission to Harvard due to insufficient financial resources,” comments Fundación México director Barbara Randolph. “The second goal is to encourage a larger number of Mexican students and scholars to apply for admission to Harvard University by assuring them of the economic means to pursue this education. The Fundación is proud that, as of this date, no Mexican student admitted to Harvard has declined admission for financial reasons.”

Fundación Financial support to students takes two forms: approximately 70% is given in the form of scholarship assistance, and approximately 30% is given in the form of loans. The Fundación has recently increased assistance given to US$8,000 per student. This figure represents 17% of the average total cost of education. Loans are given to students in the programs of Business, Law, and the Kennedy School of Government, and grants are awarded to students of all other programs.

Loan repayment begins after a one year grace period after graduation. If a student does not return to Mexico, loans and grants are repayable on demand.

In addition to funding graduate students, the Fundación has also aided Visiting Scholars. For example, Visiting Scholar, Teresa Bracho, who focused her research on educational inequality and the formulation of educational policies in Mexico, was awarded a scholarship to cover a sabbatical semester through the generosity of the Fundación Mexico and Antonio Madero.

Fall 2001, Volume I, Number 1

Erika Pani, a historian conducting research on “Constructing Political Citizenship in the New World – 1776/1917,” served as the Fundación México Madero Visiting Scholar for the 2000-2001 academic year. The Fundación also enabled Mexican scholar Carlos Tello Diaz to continue his work on “La Rebelión de las Cañdas,” a book recalling the events that converged in the insurrection in Chiapas, Mexico.

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