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Bosoms Family Foundation Collaborates With Davidson to Launch Impact Fellowships in Mexico

by Davidson College

When Marilu Bosoms '15, born and raised in Mexico City, chose to attend Davidson College, it was impossible to foresee the ways her family would become involved.

Quickly, though, Bosoms' parents, Marilu and Luis, engaged in conversations with Davidson leadership on ways the college could collaborate with the family's non-profit organization, the Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya (FHMM). The timing couldn't have been more perfect, it seems, since the college was preparing to launch a new program that was all about matching recent Davidson graduates with non-profit organizations for post-graduate fellowships. That program, the Davidson Impact Fellows program, will welcome its first 14 participants this year.

"I started working with non-profit organizations in college, and it really shaped my life," said Marilu Hernandez de Bosoms, founder and chief executive officer of FHMM. "Students may not dedicate their lives to non-profit work, but the experience will make them more ethical and well-rounded as individuals. We welcome the innovation these young graduates will bring with them. Through this partnership, we are supporting Davidson as well as our organization's work."

Marilu's husband, Luis, serves on the board of the foundation and also serves as architect for much of the foundation's original work that includes turning old haciendas into chic resorts and hiring local people who are struggling financially to work at the resort and start related businesses.

If you visit the Web site for the Bosoms' foundation, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, there is a clear and apparent commitment to education, health, and sustainable development. This international award-winning organization improves lives today and inspires human development in the Yucatan Peninsula and in Mayan communities. They live their motto "Knowing and understanding to transform."

"When our daughter began to think about her college choice, we immediately learned what an amazing college Davidson is and the strong focus on social issues that exists there," said Marilu Hernandez de Bosoms. "The Davidson culture is to always think about improvements and next steps, and the experience continues after graduation."

As conversations continued, three fellowship opportunities seemed to fit the bill. Through a shared arrangement of funding between the Bosoms and Davidson College, four 2013 grads will welcome what will undoubtedly become one of the most defining experiences of their lives.

The three fellowship opportunities, yielding four positions, will be launched this year:

  • Socio-Economic Development Fellowship - The fellow will lead the creation of an environmental management plan for Reserva Yaxche in the state of Campeche, Mexico.
  • Public Policy Fellowship - This fellowship takes place in Mexico City and the Yucatan Peninsula. The fellow will work to provide insights and analysis about the rural communities in which FHMM works.
  • Environmental Conservation Fellowship - Two fellows will work with partnership organizations to establish 20 percent of the sea as "no fish" zones by the year 2015, and they will also work to promote conservation of sea turtles.

"Education is the way of the future," said Marilu Hernandez de Bosoms, "and if you want to be a global citizen, these are the experiences that help you know the world. These graduates will bring this knowledge into their everyday lives, no matter what they choose to do."

The Davidson Impact Fellows program-a collaborative program from the office of the vice president for student life and dean of students, the Center for Civic Engagement, the college's Career Services office, and other campus partners-builds on a strong commitment to civic engagement. It enables recent Davidson graduates to work with organizations that address critical social issues such as health, education, and the environment. Through this work, young alumni will create and implement solutions to some of the most urgent problems our society now confronts, positively affecting their communities as they learn and develop into effective leaders.

Click here to learn more about the Davidson Impact Fellows program [http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x46171.xml] and the list of 2013-2014 opportunities.

For more information contact Danielle Strickland, Director of Advancement Communications, at 704-894-3101 or dastrickland@davidson.edu.

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Captions:

Luis, Marilu and Marilu '15 Bosoms