“Economic poverty is a trap, but the real poverty is the scarcity of dreams and aspirations.”
First-year Global Human Development graduate student Amina Mendez-Acosta was awarded 3rd place in the 2017 Peter Drucker Essay Challenge last week. Her candid essay on her childhood experiences that shaped her into the financial inclusion advocate she is today was selected in the Manager/Entrepreneur category out of a staggering 422 essays submitted from 79 countries. Amina’s essay also won a special award for the most creative and original story. Her prize included transportation and accommodation for the ceremony and annual conference in Vienna, where she was also interviewed by numerous media outlets and participated in pre-conference events.
Born and raised in a rural village in the Philippines, Amina has experienced first-hand the impact of poverty and the result of a sustained lack of access to financial and developmental opportunities. Through her focus and determination, and with the support of scholarships, she completed her education and graduated summa cum laude from Ohio Wesleyan University. She is currently enrolled in the Global Human Development Program at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.
With her unique background and experience, Amina knew as soon as she saw that this year’s theme for the Essay Challenge was Human Prosperity in a Changing World, that she had to write about the importance of the provision of both financial and non-financial resources, and the necessity for the poor to be viewed as co-creators of the services that will be used to support their development. Her insightful essay poses many thoughtful questions and emphasizes the unquantifiable nature of success. Success, she says, is not tied to economic indicators or benchmarks, but rather is driven by hope, that “ultimate seed for development that can only be passed on from one human being to another human being, through hands clasped in compassion, spilling over across nations and across generations." We are very proud of Amina and congratulate her on her hard work! We stand with her in hope for change and hope for a better future for all.