Cecilia Angela Martinez-Miranda '13 is co-founder of an NGO that addresses poverty in the Philippines.
Name: Cecilia Angela Martinez-Miranda
Hometown: Makati City (metro Manila), Philippines
Majors: Economics, Educational Studies (intended)
Co-founder: WE International Philippines, a registered NGO that addresses poverty in the Philippines through education projects, micro lending, environment initiatives, and sustainable business development services. (weinternational.org.ph)
Inspired by: The needs of the children of Smokey Mountain, a 2,000,000-ton garbage heap that for 40 years served as a waste disposal facility for Metro Manila. Over 2000 children spend their days scavenging and selling recyclable glass, metal, paper and plastic to help support their families. Because some 700 families depend on the children’s income, those children are denied the opportunity to go to school and move out of poverty.
What made you think that you could co-found an NGO as a high school student? I wasn't really thinking about whether it was possible or not. When you believe strongly enough that what you are doing is worth fighting for, you do everything you can to make it work. In this case, it meant founding an NGO.
- Fund 300 students from Smokey Mountain to attend elementary school, high school, and college.
- Provide for the students’ medical needs
- Provide career training, and access to a student center with computers, where a variety of workshops are conducted.
Lives of Commitment: Through this Mac program, I volunteer at the Jane Addam’s School for Democracy, helping children from different ethnic communities with reading and homework, playing scrabble, facilitating art projects, even playing kickball in the gym.
Filipino TV: Lives of Commitment friends Willy Raedy and Harry Kent interned with WEIP in January building a basketball court and developing a baseball program. They appeared on the TV game show Wowowee to drum up support for WEIP. (youtube.com/watch?v=FP5DK6wdqq4)
Active Member Macalester Development Group: Chartered in fall 2009, MDG is a student organization devoted to strengthening Macalester’s international development opportunities. Our curricular component involves rigorous development discourse with faculty and students, and we invite speakers through our International Development Speaker Series. We have 30 members who regularly attend weekly meetings and 200+ on our email list.