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Help Mexico’s top math student continue her education

By Sara Inés Calderón
Más Wired

Paloma is the Mexican student who scored first in math, and third in Spanish, in a national test in Mexico. Here’s one campaign to help her continue her studies.

You may recall the story of Paloma Noyola Martínez. She’s the 11 year-old who is the top math student in Mexico, according to the national Enlace test. She and her family are part of a community of people who live by scavenging in a dump in Matamoros, Tamaulipas (the city across from Brownsville, Texas).

Paloma and her mother.

After we ran the story many of our readers wanted to know how they could help contribute to Paloma’s education, which was in question because of her family’s ability to pay for her to continue to study. A Mexican professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, José Carlos Rodríguez Pueblita, has put together a fundraiser to help Paloma, and we asked him a few questions about why he wanted to help this young woman.

Check out the fundraising page here.

Más Wired: Why did you want to help Paloma?

JCRP: Because she needs it and to honor her effort. Her mom has been unemployed for too long, her father died several months ago, she has proven to have the willingness to overcome obstacles and has shown us all that even under very precarious circumstances she can obtain great results, achieving the highest math score in the ENLACE test (standardized national test). She set an example to all of us and gives us hope!

MW: Tell us about your campaign.

JCRP: Along with a group of friends and colleagues I started an effort to raise a fund to help ensure Paloma Marlene continues her studies, and recognize her family and teachers for their effort. Our goal is to raise 100,000 pesos (about $8,000 dollars).

This money, along with the support and visits to be [executed] by Fundación Legorreta Hernández, will be channeled to support Paloma’s studies ‘til high school. After graduation from high school, if she wants to continue studying, we will redefine the way to support her to get a college degree and maybe even more. It is a personal project and I will keep an eye on it for as long as is needed.

Every peso (dollar) will be matched by Fundación Legorreta Hernández one-to-one. This will give us money to pay a monthly stipend to Paloma Marlene to afford whatever she needs to continue her studies without unnecessarily altering her environment. Based on a diagnostic that will be performed by the foundation we will define the best way to canalize the money: tuition, books, transportation, etc. We will manage it closely and provide annual reports to all those who gave money to Paloma.

MW: How did you find this fundraising site?

JCRP: A friend and former colleague of mine, Fernando Lelo de la Rea, helped to launch several months ago as a platform to raise money for projects in a transparent and competitive way.

Please give if you are touched by Paloma’s story, and help us spread the word about this amazing young woman. Again, here’s the original story, and here’s the website where you can donate to her campaign.

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  • mundocitizen
    November 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story – glad to support a bright student – poverty should not be the reason why she should not excel.

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