Our Youth Should Dream Big
Education is a necessity of modern civilization for acquiring knowledge, as well as developing skills, working in teams and expanding intelligence.
With this in mind, we have for the past 14 years sponsored Plantel Azteca. This is one of the Fundación Azteca projects that I am proudest of, because it allows youth from low-income families to reach global education standards of excellence with an eye on the future.
Throughout the years, we have received more than 60,000 enrollment applications. Unfortunately we have had space for only 31,000 students. These numbers show that there is a huge demand for quality education, and the government and the private sector are making efforts in this regard, but there’s still a long road ahead.
Plantel Azteca offers these kids the tools to prepare for an increasingly competitive and globalized work environment.
Plantel Azteca students have unique tools such as a 24-hour virtual classroom website, Saturday workshops in math, science, English, and more, not to mention special study groups, robotics and dance classes, as well as workshops for performing street artists, and adult education courses for parents.
In addition, the students at Plantel Azteca are also vested in their communities, with the training of 2,155 brigades for the Limpiemos Nuestro México cleanup campaign, the Vive la Selva Lacandona! drawing contest, and the tenth edition of the Azteca Model United Nations (AMUN) conference, to name a few.
The students have also obtained awards in debate, dance, chess and science fairs, not to mention certifications in Microsoft Excel skills, Cisco Systems, and English proficiency from London’s Trinity College.
Beyond these activities, young people need to understand that professional success depends on more than good grades. An academic degree is no longer a guarantee of success in the workforce.
This is not to take anything away from the importance of hard work in the classroom. But we should consider the idea that studying without the ability to apply knowledge limits the scope of achievements. What options do our educated youth have today?
During the Plantel Azteca graduation ceremony on June 24, I commented that it’s not the academic degree that will move students forward, but rather knowledge that is transformed into actions that are valuable to society.
It’s not that there are no options for current graduates. In fact, there are many more opportunities in Mexico today than 20 or 30 years ago. But young people must be much better prepared to capitalize on opportunities in the job market.
When students are well-prepared and know how to search for and take advantage of opportunities for themselves, and are in their own element, they will be successful. This is why it is important for graduates of Plantel Azteca, or any other institution for that matter, to find his or her own path to excellence, always keeping in mind the goals of continuous learning and improvement.
Students should consider how far they want to go. They must dream big and work on the tools to realize their dreams.
Instead of thinking about the next step, such as finishing middle school or high school, it’s better to focus on your long-term goals, because if you have a dream in mind, the next steps will flow naturally.
The persistence of students and their goals are the motor to achieve excellence.
At Grupo Salinas, we’re taking the right steps to provide opportunities for the future of Mexico, a future that belongs to those who are ready to live life to the fullest.