Plantel Azteca is one of the Grupo Salinas projects I am proudest of. Thinking that a youngster with any kind of social background can hope to receive the best education if he or she applies him/herself makes me think that Mexico can have a bright future.
Plantel Azteca is a school known for its academic excellence and focus on opportunities for low-income students. We have awarded more than 22,000 scholarships to dedicated young people: almost 5,000 of them have already graduated. More than a school, Plantel Azteca is a community of Mexicans working conscientiously to build a better country.
Time passes very quickly: it seems that just yesterday we opened Plantel Azteca, but it is already 11 years old: nine middle school and seven high school graduating classes ago. In that time, we have received more than 160,000 entrance applications, but we have only been able to accept one-seventh of them.
For the sixth consecutive year, the National Center for the Evaluation of Higher Education (CENEVAL) has recognized Plantel Azteca as one of the three best secondary education institutions nationwide. On July 3, I had the privilege of being with these great kids at the year-end closing ceremony.
Plantel Azteca embodies three fundamental Grupo Salinas values: 1) execution; 2) learning; and 3) honesty.
Execution is a non-negotiable condition that represents getting quality results under specific time and budgetary constraints. When you commit to doing something, you’re going to do it, you’re going to do it quickly and you’re going to do it well (see, for example, the entry under “Execution”). Plantel Azteca students set the goal of getting in and they achieved it; they set the goal of graduating and they achieved it. This is priceless.
Learning is a daily effort. It is a continuous, never-ending road. I have often recommended to Plantel Azteca youngsters that they never stop learning —a recommendation I am confident they will follow because of their love of knowledge. This will make them a much more valuable asset to their country.
Honesty means being congruent with what you think, feel and say. This is a value we teach every day in our school.
Values are like a lighthouse illuminating our path. Without them, our lives would be hopelessly shipwrecked. The world changes very rapidly; everything is transformed; but our values cannot change.
In fact, the original idea of creating Plantel Azteca was to create a model that could be replicated in the whole country. The results inspire me to continue working even more, to see if we can build other campuses in other places, so that more middle and high school children can have excellent educational opportunities.
I like to think that Plantel Azteca graduates are future leaders. Giving these young people a value-based education will help us change our society —student by student. In this little piece of Mexico, we are making the difference; these youngsters are building a better country. They are models for all of us.
I want to share a video about Kevin, a young man from San Francisco Ixhuatán, Oaxaca, a humble Zapotec town. Kevin is an outstanding student at Plantel Azteca, a dedicated boy whose story leads us to think that Mexico can aspire to a better future.