Washington, D.C. (October 8, 2020) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is proud to announce the appointment of First Lady of Panama Yazmín Colón de Cortizo as PADF’s Goodwill Ambassador for STEM Education. In this new role, First Lady Colón de Cortizo will promote STEM education as a strategy to build the skills of students across Latin America, especially girls, for the 21st century.
“Education provides a social level playing field, which is why the government of Panama is committed to promoting quality education for all. It is a great honor to represent such an important mission. The pandemic has shown that with innovation and cooperation we can turn any crisis into an opportunity, as we have been doing. We must unite so that students from our region have the education they deserve,” said First Lady Colón de Cortizo.
PADF sparks the interest of students in science and technology and promotes hands-on learning through our innovative STEM Americas initiative. To help build the next generation of innovative leaders, we train teachers and develop stimulating lesson plans that ignite curiosity and engage students in creative ways.
“We are honored to have such a dynamic and compassionate female voice to amplify the importance of STEM education in our hemisphere,” said PADF Executive Director Katie Taylor. “First Lady Colón de Cortizo’s platform is focused on improving access to education for vulnerable children in urban and rural areas. This partnership with PADF provides a regional stage to advocate for STEM education.”
The STEM Americas program was launched in 2016, in response to the increasing importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to the economies of Latin America. Through this program, we aim to close employment, education, gender, inequality, and skill gaps. The initiative supports STEM education across the hemisphere through strategic partnerships with the private sector.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, PADF and local partners made a swift transition to a virtual learning environment with STEM programming. A total of 45,441 students have participated in STEM programs since March 2020, and we have trained 519 teachers in STEM methodologies during the same period. STEM Americas is now active in nine countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
STEM Education Goodwill Ambassador – Press Release October 2020 (Spanish)