Education is a key issue that I write about in this blog because I believe it´s the cornerstone of our future. Human capital is the most important form of wealth that exists.
Unfortunately, the educational panorama in Mexico, in general, is disastrous. But complaining is very easy. Almost twenty years ago, we decided to take action and we created a cutting edge educational model, focused on bright young people from low-income families: Plantel Azteca.
But the real story is written when the students graduate. Each of our graduates represents a story of tenacity and effort that changes his or her reality and environment for the better.
With this in mind, in a series of blog entries I will share some of our graduates’ success stories. We can then marvel at the extraordinary results that can be achieved in the adventure of educating young minds with the criteria of excellence.
Jocsan Laguna Romero, is a boy who grew up in one of the poorest municipalities in the country’s capital, Xochimilco. Jocsan lived in a small home with his two sisters and his mother, who maintained her children by selling cosmetics and some other items from a catalog.
At home, money was always in short supply, but this curious and intelligent child was always very happy. A school report card full of nines and tens was always a joy and source of pride for his mother. However, the family’s difficult economic situation placed a question mark over whether this bright young man would remain in school.
His mother sought an opportunity for Jocsan in Plantel Azteca. Thanks to his outstanding effort and dedication, this young man earned a scholarship –one of more than 2,000 that this educational program grants each school year- to cover his tuition expenses, school uniform, and school supplies.
He did not mind the 35 kilometers that he had to travel on public transportation for two hours every morning to get to school because he was able to enroll in math, computer science, and programming and networks classes that helped him discover his calling, in addition to promoting values such as honesty, excellence, and commitment that guide his daily decisions. On campus, Jocsan discovered his talent for computers.
After finishing high school, Jocsan entered the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and majored in mechanical engineering. He could have been just one more university student, preparing to face the labor market, but Jocsan was already a few steps ahead of the others. Today, he is on the front lines of the worldwide battle against cybercrimes such as child pornography, kidnapping, data theft, credit card cloning, and cyber-attacks on Internet banking web pages.
After successfully completing several courses, he was certified as a computer expert and two years ago, he founded his own company, which develops computer forensics tools to identify, preserve, examine, and present evidence during legal and court cases, issues that are extremely complex.
This Plantel Azteca alumnus was concerned that many cybercriminals managed to leave prison for lack of evidence, so he developed the first specialized operating system for computer forensics in Latin America. This system provides specialized investigators and even cyber police with a reliable and easy to operate tool.
Currently, through his company, Jocsan trains personnel from federal government ministries and divisions, such as the National Defense Ministry, the Center for Investigation and National Security, and cyber police as well as state governments and private companies.
Jocsan’s outlook is global. Therefore, he is also the founder and president of the Latin American Council on Computer Forensics, in which he seeks, along with other bright minds of Ecuador, Bolivia, Guatemala, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile, to standardize specialized legislation on this type of crime, since in these countries there are still significant loopholes that enable cyber criminals to evade justice.
I've always thought that progress is made by those who are dissatisfied and restless and Jocsan is an example. It is very encouraging to think that a young man who is only 27 years old, a proud graduate of Plantel Azteca, could be in the global forefront of such a sophisticated industry.
Reflecting on the past and present of these young people is inspiring, because they will change Mexico. Jocsan undeniably received great opportunities that he knew how to take advantage of and today he proves that quality academic education and training transforms lives and communities.