With a network of over 850+ professionals from 99 countries specializing in a diverse array of professional fields, many Atlas Corps Alumni and current Fellows are making inspiring progress with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is time to celebrate the achievements of our amazing network and share advice on how we can all do our part to protect and support each other.
Today we speak with our Alumna Fernanda (Class 22, Mexico, Host: The Latin American Youth Center). After finishing the Fellowship, Fernanda applied her experiences and passion for gender and diversity issues in Latin America and the UK through the United Nation Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign and a Chevening Scholarship on International Social Development.
Many thanks to Fernanda for promoting diversity and inclusion and speaking up on LGBTQIA+ issues and women’s rights. We appreciate learning about your advocacy work and your personal and professional growth. We wish you all the best with this impactful work!
Name: Rocio Fernanda Garza Zamarron
Home Country: Mexico
Current Organization: Latin American Leadership Academy
Social Issues that you have worked with: Quality education, Gender equality, Reduced inequalities
Tell us about your current projects?
After Atlas Corps, I worked as a Regional Representative for Latin America at the Girl Up Campaign by the United Nations Foundation. It was such a joy being able to establish, empower and grow an international feminist campaign through Girl Up Clubs and events that gave the impulse and lightning force to young generations of feminist women to change Latin America.
After that, I was awarded the Chevening Scholarship by the UK Government and the FCD Office, where I studied a Master of Arts in International Social Development at the University of East Anglia in England. Coming back to Monterrey, Mexico, I became a member of the board of directors of America Solidaria International (a NGO where I did a dual Fellowship with Atlas Corps); I started my own independent consultancy for Diversity, Gender and Inclusion, and my own English School.
Why is it important for you to work with these social issues?
My personal journey in life has led my soul to expand far beyond what people conceive to be the acceptable standard or label in society. Humans are diverse, we are all so different and that should be embraced. We all should learn to coexist without making anyone in this planet feel less deserving than, just because a bunch of people see something wrong or ‘liberal.’
Generations change, time changes, and that is life. Why can’t humans be the unwreckening force that pushes those changes into reality? We all are so deserving to have a full existence from the moment we are in this world.
How has Atlas Corps contributed to your professional/ personal accomplishments?
I was able to embody in my entire self Atlas Corps’ quote: change your perspective, change the world. Atlas Corps gave me the global experience of a lifetime. Personally I grew so much. I became a whole different person: more mature, more polished, and it was the pivotal moment that my life changed.
Professionally, Atlas Corps made me rise up, reach new opportunities, be fearless. It was a trampoline into becoming a global professional with Washington, D.C. standards! Most importantly, it blessed me with a golden opportunity to feel chosen amongst many other Mexicans, consequently, allowing me to believe I had the power to change my country in my own unique way. I owe Atlas Corps who I am as a professional, and the foundation of my professional fierceness.
What message would you like to send to individuals who are thinking of supporting Atlas Corps?
First of all, THANK YOU! You are not just merely supporting another NGO, you are supporting CHANGE. You are supporting that person who is going to make their country better, and with time, get to the point where there’s a better understanding in our political and international landscape. Thank you for changing my life because with it, I am changing Latin America.
Be part of our end of year campaign to support our community of 850 social change leaders from 99 countries! By supporting Atlas Corps, you empower our global community that innovates at the forefront of the world’s most pressing issues. Join the Atlas Corps community as we renew our commitment to global impact by creating new opportunities for a generation of skilled, well-networked, and trained social change leaders!