Oro Molido recognizes the importance of providing higher education to the youth of the coffee growing communities in Colombia. The most talented students from rural schools finish high school without a chance to continue on to higher education.
Colombia is a country in need of new generations with the skills and abilities to innovate and improve the means of production in the countryside. For this reason, the Oro Molido Foundation invests in the education of recent graduates from rural schools and seeks to improve the living conditions of their communities.
As of today, at least 40 students from the region of Antioquia have been awarded scholarships in different programs relevant to the needs of their communities. Degree programs vary to include education, engineering, tourism and agricultural studies, among others.
All students receive a laptop at the beginning of their studies, as well the means to assist in their academic success. The foundation also provides the psycho-social support necessary for their transition from high school to university, and the adaptation of going from a rural community to the city where they will attend their institution of higher learning.
There is a substantial impact made on students’ perspectives as a result of their social and educational experiences. Mariana Palacio, one of the fellows currently majoring in education, is eager to eventually return to her old school as a teacher impacting new generations. She also wants to contribute to her community by developing tourism initiatives. She explains:
“My transition from my community to the city of Medellin was very harsh. At first, I was very shy, and somewhat ashamed when other students would make fun of me because I was from a rural community. However, the Foundation and their support helped me a lot, and made the transition smooth. Now, three years later, I feel a lot different, more confident about myself and my heritage. My goals in life have changed for a greater good, always having in mind to give back to new generations from rural areas.”
Oro Molido Foundation’s goal of providing tools to people so they can help themselves is demonstrated through these students who all show enthusiasm for returning to their communities and contributing to their improvement. As a sign of confidence in these young people Oro Molido has employed graduates in their specific areas of expertise, creating role models and pride for their communities as a result.
You can learn more about scholarships here.