The Jang-Calderon Family Foundation was founded in 2020 with the mission to help underprivileged youth achieve their professional goals, and guide them to obtain successful professional careers. The JCFF also believes in racial equality and promotes inclusion, diversity, justice and equal opportunities for all.
One Young World has teamed up with The Jang Calderón Family Foundation to support young, Black and Indigenous leaders who are leading innovative and impactful initiatives in Latin America.
The Scholarship aims to create visibility around exceptional young Latin American leaders who are tackling current issues with one goal: build a better world. The scholars will have the opportunity to connect and learn about the experiences of a wide range of diverse young leaders from all over the world, as well as, promote their work and enhance their leadership.
Meet the 2023 Ilia Calderón Scholars
Pascuala Rosemary Dionicio Vásquez
My name is Rosemary Dionicio, and I am a Maya K'iche' Sakapulteka indigenous woman. I grew up and live in the Quiché department of Guatemala. I am currently 25 years old and I speak two native languages of Guatemala, as well as Spanish and English.
I work as a teacher in both primary and middle schools, as an employee of the the Ministry of Education of Guatemala. One of my greatest achievements is founding a non-profit organization called "JovenGO Guatemala." Co-led by young people from Guatemala, our aim is to support the development of our communities and open doors for individuals who have limited access to opportunities.
I am proud to mention that I have attended university, an opportunity that not many women in my community have the chance to reach . I hold a bachelor's degree in Interculturality and I am in the process of pursuing a master's degree in University Teaching, as well as another bachelor's degree in Bilingual Education.
I have been awarded an international scholarship known as SUSI, for my training for indigenous women and I have also been a beneficiary of Cultural Survival for a seminar on indigenous women leaders. Currently, I am actively involved as the founder and project coordinator for the organization "JovenGO Guatemala."
I lead various language projects (In both Mayan and English) focused on supporting indigenous peoples and youth from various educational institutions across the country. Additionally, I am working on technology-based literacy projects for indigenous women, helping to dismantle the digital barriers they face in their daily life.
Ana Yency Lemus Chavez
Ana identifies as an Afro-Salvadoran woman from the Panune ethnicity. She is an activist and human rights defender for the Afro-descendant population in El Salvador. On three occasions, in 2017, 2019, and 2023, she presented a reform proposal for the recognition of the Afro-descendant population in El Salvador to congressmen and government officials.
She founded and currently leads the youth-led organisation, "Afrodescendiente Organizados Salvadoreños" where she tackles racism and discrimination in all forms.
Among her professional qualifications, Ana holds a Bachelor's degree in International Relations with a specialization in Formulation, Management, and International Cooperation, a Master's degree in Development Cooperation from the University of La Rioja, and a postgraduate degree in Public Policies from Harvard University.
Some of the recognitions she has received include being named an Influential Youth of the Republic of El Salvador and receiving the Pride of El Salvador award from the diaspora in the United States. Ana is a member of the Permanent Forum of Afrodescendants of the United Nations and the Secretary General of the Central American Black Organization.
To this day, Ana Yency promotes recognition and public policies in favour of the Afro-Salvadoran population, stating, "We don't want to be added; we want to be included."
Meet the 2022 Ilia Calderón Scholars
Hellen Caroline Nzinga
Hellen is a Sustainability and Climate Change Consultant to bring black women into the climate change agenda. She coordinates technology and entrepreneurship projects with a focus on diversity. She has trained 3,000 people on a gender and racial perspective. In her community, she co-founded education and technology projects for Black children and women such as Pretas Hackers, in 2017. In 2018, she was selected among young people from all over the country to the largest leadership and entrepreneurship program in Brazil. As a result, she co-founded EcoCiclo, where she currently works.
EcoCiclo is the first biodegradable absorbent in Brazil that aims to employ women in vulnerable situations to produce the products and bring information on sustainability, health and employability. Sustainble Bussiness Management MBA Candidate
Mactzil Ixtz'unun Camey Rodriguez
I am Mactzil Ixtz'unun Camey Rodriguez, a Kaqchikel Mayan woman from Guatemala. I am 22 years old and I am very proud of my Kaqchikel lineage, I live in Chimaltenango. I am currently a student of Political Science with a major in Political Analyst at the University of San Carlos de Guatemala. I am a former student leader of the Association of University Students in the position of gender secretary and I am currently co-founder and member of the Tuxinem Collective.
I am also an activist for the defense of the human rights of Mayan women, indigenous peoples and youth, issues that I have been able to enrich with my participation in different workshops, diploma courses, as well as I have had the opportunity to be a panelist and invited to moderate forums and discussions on these topics. Finally I am an entrepreneur of a business of Mayan accessories and costumes called "K'ayij Tz'unun" referring to my name "colibrí vendedora".
Meet the 2021 Ilia Calderón Scholars
Adilene is a 26-year-old woman, proud mother, young and Mazatec indigenous from Oaxaca, Mexico who has a Law Degree from the Universidad Veracruzana which has helped her to raise her voice as a social activist since the age of 9 in her native community and Latin America.
She is currently a member of various youth advocacy initiatives in Mexico such as the Ateneo Nacional de la Juventud A.C., the Observatory of Juvenile Rights of Oaxaca in the Table of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Communities and Girl Up Aguascalientes. She is also the Young Ambassador of Latin America for the Eradication of Child Labor. Finally, Adilene is the National President of the Council for Youth Policy Monitoring (CONSEPP) in Mexico of the Mexican Youth Institute (IMJUVE), being the first time that a woman, mother and indigenous person occupies this position.
Helena is a young afro-descendant from the Department of Chocó. At 22 years old, she is passionate about public service, women's empowerment, community empowerment and territorial transformation.
She is co-founder and coordinator of the Innovations Girls programme of the Chocó School of Robotics, which seeks to empower women through robotics, science and technology with a component on leadership, entrepreneurship and female empowerment, promoting the closing of gender gaps in the Pacific region and the creation of solutions to the problems of the region. She has served as Mentors 4U Colombia's Meentes and operations ambassador; she is Co-Founder & CEO of the Quibdó Leadership Academy. Helena is a former Martin Luther King Fellow, SUSI Fellow (Study in U.S. Institute for Women's Leaders of African Descent and Indigenous Women at the University of Arizona), Fellow of the Origen Colombia Foundation, Fellow of the Mi Sangre Foundation and Dale Pacifico 2020 Leader.
Meet the 2019 Ilia Calderón Scholar
Yineth Paola Renteria Martinez, 24 years old, is a young Afro-Colombian from the Department of Chocó. She is currently responsible for the leadership, mentoring and volunteering programmes of the ICETEX Community, and is also co-founder and director of operations of the Mentors4U Colombia Foundation.
From her role in the public sector and as a social entrepreneur, this young leader works to generate opportunities that strengthen the educational experience of young people during their academic career, and to make diverse talent visible through professional development programmes.