Monica and Madelaine. Panama.
Monica Espinosa and Madelaine Rodríguezes are indigenous Panamanians who would have probably been lost to poverty if the Badi School hadn’t found and embraced them—and helped them unlock their potential through the support of Mona scholarships. The result? In 2016 they won three national and international science awards for their patented discovery: a refrigerant that does not pollute the environment.
1st place in Engineering and Technology Research category at a national contest hosted by the Ministry of Education of Panama
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
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 the highest entrance examination score ever recorded in the history of the Technological University of Panama and was awarded a full 4-year college scholarship!
Monica’s family moved from their tribal lands to the outskirts of Panama City in search of a better life for their children. Her parents did not have the opportunity to go to college, but they were determined their five daughters received the best education possible. After working several jobs to support their daughters’ education, three daughters have graduated from college, one 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:
“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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