SAN JOSE – The University of Miami presented on Friday in Costa Rica a scholarship program with which it seeks to offer new development opportunities for students from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Julio Frenk, the Mexican president of the University of Miami (UM), one of the 50 highest ranked institutions of higher learning in the US, officially presented the Payless ShoeSource undergraduate scholarship to the young student Chantal Newallo from Trinidad and Tobago.
Frenk said at the event that talented young people of the region should not be stopped from “developing their potential,” because if they do well, their respective societies will also do well.
UM, which promotes the emergence of Latin America and the Caribbean as prominent voices in the global dialogue, seeks to develop a strategy based on wide associations and institutional consortiums.
“What I like to say is that we are a global university with a hemispheric advantage,” Frenk said.
The project includes collaborating on research and data exchanges, along with exchange programs for students and professors, in order to get the Americas and eventually the world on the road to integration.
The Payless ShoeSource scholarship is one step forward toward achieving the goals of students wishing to study in different fields.
The Payless group in Latin America has established a philanthropic cooperation fund whose first beneficiary is Chantal Newallo, who expressed her gratitude for being able to do her undergraduate studies at the University of Miami.
“I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t get that scholarship,” Newallo said. “I definitely want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for their generosity.”
The university has nine schools that offer a flexible curriculum, so that students can mix different areas of study, something considered a good formula for success in a changing market.
University President Frenk told EFE that they also seek to call on other organizations and leaders in the region to join forces in order to benefit students in their respective countries by establishing similar programs.
“There’s no better investment than education. UM is among the top 50 US universities, and has special ties with Latin America. There are very talented students that don’t bother to apply for college because they don’t think they’ll ever be able to pay for their education,” the university president said.
For Frenk, one of UM’s advantages is that it has an innovative program, it’s in a cosmopolitan city and its geographical location makes it accessible by air.
The University of Miami’s goal for its students from abroad is that after graduation they put into practice back home what they have learned and contribute to their countries’ development.
Some 25 percent of the 15,000 students at UM, established in 1925, just 29 years after Miami was founded (1896), are of Hispanic origin with US nationality or from other Spanish-speaking countries.
Another 10 percent are blacks, either US citizens or from other countries, basically from the Caribbean.