Monica and Madelaine. Panama.




Monica Espinosa and Madelaine Rodríguezes are indigenous Panamanians who would have probably been lost to poverty if the Badi School had not provided them access to education and  empowered and enabled them to, together, to achieve the highest scholastic honors to-date.

Specifically, Monica’s family are indigenous Panamanians who left their tribal land, where subsistence farming was the only way to survive, to the outskirts of Panama City in search of a better life for their children. They did not have the opportunity to go to school but were determined that their five daughters receive the best education possible. Her father held two jobs and worked every day of the week for several years, as did her mother. They did all they could including knocking on the doors of many schools to seek scholarships in support of the education of their daughters. Now after many years, three daughters have graduated from college, a fourth is getting a medical degree, and Monica is in her second year at Technological University of Panama studying electronics and telecommunications engineering. In Monica’s own words:

Monica’s education was supported by Badi School scholarships provided by Mona Foundation.  When her parents’ came to Badi School to see if they would admit Monica on scholarship, Badi embraced this shy, quiet and unassuming girl, and through their very innovative approaches including exposure to arts, science and technology unlocked her hidden potential. The result? In 2016 Monica, in collaboration with Madeline, won three national and international science awards for their patented discovery: a refrigerant that does not pollute the environment.

  1. 1st place in Engineering and Technology Research category at a national contest hosted by the Ministry of Education of Panama
  2. 2nd place in Global Fair, USA, INTEL ISEF 2016 (Intel Company, International Science and Engineering Fair) among 1,750 high school students from 75 countries
  3. Top Five Recognition, USA, Organization of American States for “Evolution in the efficiency of the organic refrigerants based on Zeolita-Salmuera in the Refrigeration Systems”

Monica also received one of the highest entrance examination scores ever recorded in the history of the Technological University of Panama, and was awarded a full 4-year college scholarship!  In her own words,”

 “The town where I’m from, San Miguelito, has the highest violence in the province. My town showed me the consequences of not studying and taking wrong decisions. All my life, I had to stay home because of the violence, so books became my friends. I am really grateful to all the people involved in my academic, moral, and social education like my family, Badi School. I also appreciate the institutions that introduced me to research and science, as I think through scientific research I can positively impact my society.”

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