Leadership development program for college students

PARACa

The Agents of Change Empowerment and Retention Program (PARACa in Spanish) is a summer leadership development program for university students and recent graduates recognized for their academic performance, leadership, and sense of responsibility with Puerto Rico. 

 

This program tackles youth employment issues, while at the same time raising awareness of social issues that students can get involved with. The experience consists of eight weeks in which its members carry out a high impact internship, while completing a curriculum of professional development and awareness. Those admitted distinguish themselves by strengthening their leadership skills, creating awareness, and sensitizing their perspective on the realities of Puerto Rico.

Important dates:

There is currently not an open session. Stay tuned to our website and social media for the latest news of our next program. 

Our curriculum

The curriculum is adapted annually based on the current situations in Puerto Rico. The modules include:

 

Leadership

Mediation of conflicts

Self-management and entrepreneurship

Economic module

Environmental module

2 social modules

3 field visits

Our internships

We have offered internships with over 40 partners. Some of the participating internship partners in previous years have included:

 

  • Agenda Ciudadana

  • Ciencia Puerto Rico

  • Estudios Técnicos

  • Foundation for Puerto Rico

  • Fundación Banco Popular

  • Fundación Ricky Martin

  • Instituto Nacional de Energía Sostenible Isleña (INESI)

  • Impacto Juvenil

  • Mentes Puertorriqueñas en Acción

  • Organización Pro Ambiente Sustentable

  • Oficina del Bosque Modelo de PR

 

The philosophy behind the Program

Puerto Rican Minds in Action or Mentes Puertorriqueñas en Acción (MPA) recognizes that in Puerto Rico exists a leadership void, but we believe that, beyond leaders, there is a shortage of agents of change committed to the Island. By analyzing the spectrum of practices of those who have influence in Puerto Rico, we have observed the existence of impact leaders who integrate in their practice a combination of the following characteristics:

 

Consciousness - rational and profound understanding of the challenges and opportunities on the Island.

Sensibility - empathy to understand and be supportive of the diverse and complex situations that many face in Puerto Rico.

Effectiveness – the capacity to implement their ideas and vision to create the desired impact.

 

We define as Agents of Change those individuals who manage to incorporate these characteristics.

Objectives

  • How does the Puerto Rican Minds in Action Summer Program promote this leadership model? We have designed a curriculum to address each of these areas:

  • Provide personal development workshops to strengthen their effectiveness.

  • Promote the analysis and discussion of issues that affect the well-being and future of Puerto Rico through awareness modules that present issues relevant to the social and economic welfare of the Island.

  • Provide the opportunity of guided visits, dialogues, and exchanges that sensitize the student so that they can have empathy and solidarity with the most complex and difficult realities that affect many Puerto Ricans.

  • Provide group activities and discussions that strengthen the commitment to the well-being of Puerto Rico.

The impact we envision

Our expectation is for the program to begin to influence the way in which the young adults of the Island develop as professionals, perform as a leaders, and commit to Puerto Rico, both in the short and long term.

 

PARACa serves as an experience to give continuity to the development of our youth as agents of change for Puerto Rico. The program offers them new tools, knowledge, and experiences that transform their practices and their perspective, while solidifying a commitment to the welfare of the Island.

 

Once the program is completed, we visualize these young adults with a greater interest in what happens on the island and taking initiatives to effectively implement social or community projects. During this stage, we provide mentors and resources to support their social initiatives and their academic and professional development. In addition, they are offered leadership and creativity opportunities within the organization to allow them to use this as a platform for their development as agents of change.

 

In the long term, we view the graduates of the program as important agents of change in Puerto Rico:

 

Social entrepreneurs with significant impact

Entrepreneurs with a profound sense of social responsibility

Government officials who honor the principle of public service

Political figures with vision and integrity

Defenders of the rights of the most vulnerable populations

 

The Final Goal: to create a new generation of agents of change that contributes to the positive transformation of the country.