The United States State Department, The United States Embassy in Mexico City, Partners of the Americas, and the Mary Street Jenkins Foundations announced the grant winners for the most recent Innovation Fund contest.
The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the flagship educational initiative of the American State Department in the western hemisphere. Its purpose is to maximize the benefits of the commitment made by the public and private sectors, regional governments, and higher education networks to increase academic mobility, student exchanges, training programs, strengthen regional cooperation in education, and foster the development of the work force in the American continent.
The Innovation Fund inspires universities and institutions in the United States to associate with higher education institutions in Latin America and create new exchange and training opportunities. The associations create links and provide students with vital access to new training programs to work in teams, acquire technical and language skills, solve real world problems, and be better prepared for the modern work force.
From its start in January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 211 grants to teams from 385 higher education institutions in 25 countries and 43 American states. Mexico is the leading country in this initiative, forming dynamic alliances with American institutions and universities to give students access to academic exchange programs in both countries. To date, 19 Mexican states and 24 American states benefit from these associations.
The winners of this first contest sponsored by the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation are eight new associations between sixteen universities and colleges in the United States and higher education institutions in Mexico. These alliances will offer exchange and training programs to students from both countries in social sciences, humanities, archeology, anthropology, technology, and education.
John Creamer, the Business Attaché at the United States Embassy in Mexico, said that “education exchanges and academic mobility are a fundamental element of our bilateral relations, best expressed as a collaboration to finance programs such as the Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholarship and Jóvenes en Acción. What makes 100,000 Strong in the Americas work so well is the dedication that American and Mexican institutions put in working together to benefit students and professors in both countries, as well as the donations from the private sector, such as the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation, to give them the resources to succeed.”
Roberto Jenkins De Landa, representing the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation, stated: “Our family has followed during generations what my grandfather, Don Guillermo Oscar Jenkins, entrusted us, which is to continue contributing to support education in Mexico. We are proud to have joined this public-private effort, led by the United States Government, to make possible these international education experiences for students and Mexicans, through the support of the Innovation Fund. We will continue our commitment to this effort.”
The Innovation Fund grants are normally USD$25,000 each to implement new exchange and training programs for students.
The Innovation Fund grants sponsored by the Mary Street Jenkins Foundation will go to: Georgia Gwinnett College, in Georgia, USA and Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico City, Mexico; Salem State University, in Massachusetts, USA and Universidad de Guanajuato, in Guanajuato, Mexico; State University of New York (SUNY) Broome Community College, in New York, USA and Universidad de Celaya, in Celaya, Mexico; University of Alabama, in Alabama, USA and Universidad de las Américas Puebla, in Puebla, Mexico; University of Arkansas, in Arkansas, USA and Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla, in Puebla, Mexico; University of Illinois at Chicago, in Illinois, USA and the Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, in Morelos, Mexico; University of New Mexico, in New Mexico, USA and Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, in Puebla, Mexico; University of Northern Iowa, in Iowa, USA and Universidad Marista de Mérida-Yucatán, in Yucatán, Mexico.