Rutgers University-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor and the Consul General of Mexico, Ambassador Diego Gómez Pickering, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which improves coordination to help benefit the region’s Mexican and Mexican-American community. This cooperative initiative leverages the full array of educational opportunities available through Rutgers-Newark and its constituent colleges.
The initiative has provided financial support to Rutgers-Newark students via the IME-Becas Scholarship Program. Those students also receive cohort-based academic support. “The grant awarded to me by the Consulate of Mexico was a blessing,” said Rutgers-Newark senior Jerlin Fernandez, who received an IME-Becas scholarship which helped cover the cost of a required summer class. “I would like to thank the Consulate of Mexico for restoring this dreamer with the trust that good things sometimes still just happen.” Ms. Fernandez was one of several Rutgers-Newark students who made remarks and witnessed the signing last week inside the Chancellor’s office in the Center for Law and Justice on Washington Street on the Rutgers-Newark campus. Mexican Consul Alexis Núñez was also there for the ceremony.
The MOU agreement will also create internship opportunities through community-based organizations working in Mexican communities in New Jersey; help disseminate higher education information to New Jersey’s Mexican communities; expand recruitment materials available in Spanish and collaborate to keep the Mexican community informed on pressing immigration issues.
“There should be no boundaries when it comes to education. Education is a basic human right,” according to Ambassador Pickering. “The agreement really provides an opportunity for the overall Latino community, and specifically the Mexican community in Newark and all around New Jersey, to keep on working on a right that’s eminent to them: education.”
As Ambassador Pickering pointed out at the signing, the Mexican community is the fastest growing community in New Jersey. To address that growing population, other future endeavors that will be made possible by the MOU include a “Consulate on Wheels,” which would provide space for the Mexican Consular staff to meet with members of New Jersey’s Mexican community, in addition to academic exchanges and cooperative research with Mexican universities.
“We see an enormous bonus for the world in really opening up these pathways. We are entirely connected to communities near and far,” remarked Chancellor Cantor. She added, “The state of New Jersey is so wonderfully full of different cultural heritages and communities and that’s what we really pride ourselves on.”