U.S.-Mexico Foundation

The USMF celebrates the launch of “1,000 Girls-1,000 Futures” in Puebla

The USMF celebrates the launch of "1,000 Girls-1,000 Futures" in Puebla

On Friday, September 11th, 2015; over 300 guests and members of the press gathered in Puebla, Mexico to celebrate the launch of the 1,000 Girls-1,000 Futures program and the country’s inclusion in the New York Academy of Sciences’ (NYAS) Global STEM Alliance.

The Program is being sponsored and implemented in Mexico by the U.S.-Mexico Foundation (USMF), in partnership with the Secretaría de Educación Pública of the state of Puebla (SEP), the Benemerita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), and the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica Optica y Electronica (INAOE).  Additionally, employees of several corporations and academic institutions; such as Softtek, Microsoft, Volkswagen, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Universidad de las Americas Puebla (UDLAP), CONACYT, and Academia de Ingeniería de México, will be participating in the program as mentors.

Program participants and the panelists at the event

Attendees to the event included the 62 high-school girls from Puebla who will be participating in the program, their families, the professional women who applied to mentor the students, government officials from the United States and Mexico, and representatives of some of the corporations and academic institutions supporting the program’s implementation in Mexico.   The event featured remarks from the governor of Puebla, Rafael Moreno Valle, José Antonio Gali, the mayor of Puebla, Rebeca Vargas, President & CEO of the USMF, Ellis Rubinstein, CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences, program mentor Professor Ofelia Cervantes of the Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Fabiola Antonio, one of the young girls participating in the program.

The “1,000 Girls-1,000 Futures” program is an international mentorship program designed with the goal of encouraging young women to study STEM related careers and guide them through the decision and application processes to enter college. The Program is part of the NYAS’ Global STEM Alliance, a worldwide effort to identify and prepare the next generation of STEM leaders. 50 countries have signed up to participate in the Alliance and now Mexico is being incorporated thanks to the support of the USMF.


Rebeca with Martha Laris,SEP Puebla, Cristina Cardenas Peralta from the office of the Mexican President, and mentors from Volkswagen

Rebeca and Paty Vazquez, Secretary of Education of Puebla with participants and their parents

During her remarks, Rebeca Vargas, President & CEO of the USMF, pointed out to the program’s relevance, noting that while 7 of 10 girls are interested in STEM at a young age, only 2 of 10 go on to study a related career. “Considering that 70% of tomorrow’s jobs will require STEM skills, there is a clear need to educate and empower girls to become professionals in these fields.” Rebeca’s eloquent and moving speech generated applause from the audience on three occasions.  She thanked the mentors “This program would not be possible without your participation” and the parents “you should be proud because you have raised beautiful women who are hardworking students committed to succeed in life.” Rebeca also addressed the girls congratulating them for their achievements “you know it was not easy to get selected for the program. You are here because you took the risk of doing things that you had never done before like writing an essay in English.” Rebeca also invited the girls to have fun while leveraging this opportunity “do not lose track of the goal, which is for you to enter and graduate from college... you are not alone in this effort. We’ll be accompanying you during the entire school year”.

Fabiola Antonio, one of the students participating in the program, spoke on behalf of the 62 students and addressed the audience in Spanish, English and Nahuatl. She highlighted the opportunity that the program represents for them: “my name is Fabiola, I am 17 years old, I come from a peasant family. I am a student, a woman, and a daughter. I am proud to be in this program because it will allow me to find new opportunities.”  Fabiola’s energetic participation concluded: “My origin is not my destiny.”

Fabiola Antonio, program participant.

Rafael Moreno Valle, Governor of the state of Puebla

Rebeca Vargas, President & CEO, USMF

Ellis Rubinstein, President & CEO, NYAS


During the ceremony, Ellis Rubinstein, President & CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences, highlighted the program’s global scope, noting that girls from 10 different countries, including India, China, the UK and the USA will be participating in its first year and that Mexico represented the second largest contingent, after the United States. He also celebrated the strong partnership with the USMF to achieve this result and spoke of plans to expand the program in subsequent years, saying “this does not stop at 1,000 girls.”

Rafael Moreno Valle, the Governor of the State of Puebla congratulated the girls on their achievement and dedication and told them the program will open new doors for them. He also spoke of his pride in having Puebla being the pioneer for the implementation of the program in Mexico, and noted that the USMF and the state of Puebla have collaborated on multiple initiatives to improve education in the state.


The U.S.-Mexico Foundation is thankful and proud to partner with government entities, academic institutions and corporations to implement impactful binational programs like “1,000 Girls-1,000 Futures.”

Press Release: "U.S.-Mexico Foundation announces the launch of the “1,000 Girls – 1,000 Futures” program in Mexico"

Fabiola and Rebeca embrace during the ceremony

Rebeca with some of the program participants

The participants received computers to use for the program

Paty Vazquez with Fabiola and her family

Photo Gallery




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