Aspiring to diminish the island’s “brain drain” and empower students and young professionals as civic agents, Puerto Rican Minds in Action will sponsor its fourth “Empowerment and Retention of Change Agents Program” (PARACa, for its initials in Spanish) this weekend from the Botanical Garden in Caguas.
Puerto Rican Minds in Action is a nonprofit organization that hopes to create a new breed of young, Puerto Rican leaders who are agents of change, aware of the island’s diverse realities, and committed to advancing its socio-economic development.
Saturday’s program will kick off with a panel entitled “Voices of Transformational Leadership in Puerto Rico,” presented by María de Lourdes Lara, from Agenda Ciudadana, Eva Vázquez, from Grupo Guayacán, and Lydia Rodríguez del Valle, from Proyecto Enlace, among others, who will share their experiences with the program’s 30 participants.
“Through PARACa, we advance Puerto Rican Minds in Action’s greater mission of empowering young Puerto Ricans to become active players in the quest to build a better Puerto Rico,” said Michelle Quiles, president of MPA’s board of directors.
“As young students and professionals, we have a responsibility to work for our island. PARACa emphasizes the importance of such responsibility and teaches how to exercise it through actions,” she said.
Selected participants are college students and young professionals who completed a rigorous application process and show outstanding academic and leadership records. This year’s participants are Puerto Rican students from the University of Puerto Rico, Harvard University, Columbia University, George Washington University, University of Michigan, Georgetown University, Syracuse University, Washington University in St. Louis, among others.
PARACa is an eight-week program through which participants combine an internship in their professional field of interest with leadership workshops and educational modules. Participants will complete internships in organizations like Agenda Ciudadana, Grupo Guayacán, REOF Capital, Impactivo Consulting and Ciencia PR.
Members of the program will also have the unprecedented opportunity of working with other young Puerto Ricans who share their commitment to the island’s advancement.
Puerto Rican Minds in Action is an organization devoted to creating a new generation of Puerto Rican leaders willing to become change agents and committed to working toward the island’s greater socio-economic development.