The Rosa Medel Scholarship Review Commission held its first virtual meeting to share its objectives and plan the next steps of its implementation. This benefit already has 156 scholarship recipients, all higher education students from Coronel, and family members that participated in Enel's Resettlement Plan.
The meeting was attended by Herty Roa, a Health Ministry representative and coordinator of Coronel's Environmental and Social Recovery Program (PRAS); Cristián Gutiérrez, teacher at Universidad de Concepción's Interactive Center of Science, Arts, and Technologies (CICAT); Yerko Vásquez, from Asociación Sembra; and Enel's sustainability specialists in the Coronel area, Cynthia Núñez and Carmen San Juan.
The scholarship is for students studying at university and state-recognized professional/technical institutes, both public and private. The educational award includes study materials, airfare or fuel for transportation, food, internet, desk accessories, photocopies, books, library fees, and tuition payment.
"The Rosa Medel Scholarship aims at helping young people from resettled families continue their higher education. It is assistance so that they can persist in developing their talents, aspirations, and passions", explained Antonella Pellegrini, Sustainability Manager of Enel Chile.
Scholarship applications were open between April 13 and May 21, 2022. During that time, young students received orientation to obtain the necessary documentation and apply for the benefit, complying with all requirements.
The program seeks to encourage more equitable access to education for a fairer society. The United Nations defines this concept in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 4, which promotes the importance of inclusive, equitable, and quality education. The article also includes the provision of lifelong learning opportunities for all, understanding education as an accelerator of upward socioeconomic mobility and a key factor in overcoming social and economic vulnerability, especially for girls.
"With the Rosa Medel scholarship, inspired by Coronel's 20th Century heroine, we want to contribute to Coronel's girls' education, building an inclusive and equitable future. We also want to recover the gender gap that the pandemic has confined in school continuity," explained Krasna Pereira, responsible for Enel's Sustainability and Community Relations in Coronel.
Fundación Ciencia Impacta will deliver six talks and workshops to provide scholarship holders with tools focused on installing capabilities to integrate women in science. Also included are discussions on the gender approach in academia that "aim to enhance communication between science and society, and promote discussion and reflection on various topics to encourage critical thinking. All this hand in hand with gender issues, since in sciences such as engineering, mathematics, and technology there is a big gap", said Alejandra Parra, co-founder of the organization.
Parra added that they seek to build a bridge between the scientific world and society, empowering people by understanding, valuing, and applying science to generate a positive impact on their lives.
"We are interested in conversations based on experience, data, and multidisciplinarity with professionals from different areas," explained the neuroscientist.
Eighty-nine women applied for the Rosa Medel Scholarship, representing 57% of the young people awarded this benefit. Of the total number of students, 97% live in Coronel, mainly in the neighborhoods of Doña Isidora, Nuevo Esfuerzo, La Peña and Huertos Familiares. In addition, the most significant number of applications focuses on students from Universities, 43.6%, followed by Technical Training Centers with 26.9%, and Professional Institutes with 26.3%.
Statistics include 64.7% of the scholarship holders studying during the day, 26.9% in the evening, and 8.3% online. Engineering, Health, Social Sciences, Education and Administration, and Commerce are in high demand. Nursing, Social Work, Medicine, Kinesiology, Obstetrics, Administration, and Pedagogy are the most recurrent careers.
The scholarship's name honors Rosa Medel as a historical figure representing the strength of Coronel's inhabitants, especially its young women who overcame adversity and acted for the common good. This esteemed fisherwoman from Caleta Lo Rojas is part of the local memory and identity, remembered by her courage, effort, and commitment.