Brian Melven and Professor Don Adolphson, Romney Institute for Public Management
The purpose of my project was to develop a proposal to aide Guatemalan university students in finding fulfilling employment after university graduation. I specifically wanted to help LDS university students who attended the public university in Guatemala City. The proposal was based on my findings after a two-month visit to Guatemala City last summer.
While in Guatemala, I visited with university students, university administrators, Church CES representatives, Church employment representatives, and various other Church and community leaders. After working with literally dozens of people, I returned to the U.S. to prepare a proposal to create a Leadership Training Center for the university students. The proposal was to serve as a guide for the establishment of such a center and was written to attain funding for the project.
The final product was an eleven-page proposal that was presented to a non-profit organization that specializes in helping Guatemalan students and to a private donor who desired to help the Guatemalan university students. The proposal called for a center to be established that would teach classes in English, computers, and leadership. The center would also provide resources such as hard-to-find textbooks, computer and internet access, and a placement and career counseling center. Additionally, the center would provide loans to students who needed financial assistance.
The proposal outlined the organization and management of such a center. It also included two pages that summarized the financial costs of such a project.
As I was working on the project, another private organization began working on a very similar project for the students of Guatemala. After presenting their ideas to the same private donor, it was decided that the donor would provide $50,000 for the establishment of the center. The center would be organized based on recommendations from both my proposal and that of the other private organization.
An office-space was rented and a program director was hired. The center has now granted dozens of loans and grants to Guatemalan students to finance their college education.
While I personally cannot take credit for the establishment of the center, I was happy to see that my ideas and networking in Guatemala helped lead to a proposal and eventual establishment of a center that is bettering the lives of Guatemalan university students.