September 25, 2008
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On Thursday, September 25th 2008, eight LGS scholars had an opportunity to attend the luncheon hosted by the Economic Club of New York and meet the Honorable President of Mexico Felipe Calderón Hinojosa in person. Below is a reflection of the day written by Mashal Hamidi.
My fellow Levermore Scholars and I were greatly excited to attend the luncheon with the President of Mexico Felipe Calderón hosted by the Economic Club of New York at the Waldorf Astoria. The opening speaker was Robert D. Hormats, Vice Chairman of the New York Economic Club and the Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs. It was fascinating to hear him speak in the midst of an economic crisis in the United States.
As for the Mexican President, I was more interested in what he had to say than actually meeting him. His ideas and policies are highly crucial to the people in the United States due to our close ties with Mexico geographically, politically and economically through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). One part of his speech that caught my attention was him apologizing for the economic crisis in the United States. I was simply astonished because I could not understand why he would apologize.
The President also mentioned all the wonderful things that Mexico has to offer, including natural resources. This is the reason the country does not have to rely on anyone else for certain commodities. However, it is a shame that the lack of actual leadership and implementation of effective policies has hindered Mexico from flourishing. President Calderon mentioned that organized crime is a major issue in Mexico and he aims to eradicate organized crime and drug trafficking. ''Everyday I dream of a safer Mexico,'' Calderon said. I truly hope he turns his dream into reality for his people. His people deserve better jobs to attain better livelihoods.
One other topic that was of great interest to me was his educational policies. He promised to make education accessible to everyone. I believe that access to education in Mexico would lower the crime rate, lessen drug trafficking and illegal immigration to the United States, and create better economic opportunities for families. One interesting policy that he mentioned was assisting families by providing them with a small amount of economic funding as an incentive for families to send their children to school.
Overall, he spoke eloquently and truly sounded ambitious in implementing reform policies in his country. In the end we even got to take a picture with President Calderon!
Written by Mashal Hamidi ‘10
One of the great things about LGS is the opportunities that it gives its students. Over these past two years I've been able to meet different people, go to different place and learn so much about the world around me thanks to the LGS program. I've attended a small lunch with the ambassador of Lichtenstein, gone to the UN and Ellis Island, attended the lectures of guest speakers from around the world, and much, much more.
This past Thursday a few other LGS students and myself were granted the opportunity to attend a lunch at the Waldorf-Astoria, hosted by the Economic Club of New York with Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, the President of Mexico.
This exciting opportunity not only allowed us listen to the speech of another country's leader in person, but also gave us the opportunity to meet people from various places and fields. It was very interesting to hear snippets of conversations that sounded like those conversing were leading exciting lives. When we went out and "mingled" we certainly found ourselves among people who had accomplished much.
The lunch that we were served was very delicious, but in my opinion that was only the icing on the cake when it came to the opportunity we were given. While the lunch wasn't a small intimate affair, we were still given the opportunity to dine with and listen to a speech from the President.
The president—educated in both the United States and Mexico—gave a charismatic speech that caught the attention of my fellow LGS scholars and myself and left us glad that we had taken advantage of such a unique opportunity. Near the end of the lunch, a couple of LGS scholars were also brave enough to meet the president himself!
It was a wonderful day and I'm glad that I didn't let this opportunity slip by me. I encourage all LGS scholars to take advantage of what this program has to offer—you never know when you'll have this opportunity again.
Written by Nicole Rodriguez ‘10