"My message to young people is to keep pushing yourself to study"
Meet Kevin Méndez, a 17 year old student leader from the community of Oxinam, in Chalam, Mexico. He is one of 20 students taking a GPA Youth Leadership workshop series in order to help improve the health and well-being of his community. In the Highland Region of Chiapas the maternal mortality rate reaches up to four times the national average due to factors such as poverty, discrimination, inadequate healthcare access, gender inequality, violence and early marriage. Young people want to change that. “I have five siblings and I am the oldest. When I grow up, I want to be a doctor. My dream is to be the best surgeon. To attend school, I walk an hour from my community. Sometimes it’s difficult to get here, especially when it’s raining, because I arrive soaking wet, my backpack gets wet and so do my notebooks. There is no transportation from Oxinam to the school. I think it’s worth it to push myself to go to school because I am learning many things that will prepare me for the future. I think the difficulties I face to make my dream a reality are due to the economy, because there is no work here for my father. He travels to Mexico City or Chihuahua for work, and sometimes six months go by before we see him. I would like to find a job to help my family and that way we can be together. The GPA courses are helping me. My message for young people is to keep pushing yourself to study, and although it can be difficult at times, we have to fight for what we want. You have to make the effort because the future is waiting for us.