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Pittsburgh Inspires Exchange Students To 'Change The Narrative' Of Mexico

Marissa Hopkins

Sixty Mexican college students, from all socioeconomic strata in Mexico, are visiting Pittsburgh as part of an educational cultural exchange. The group are all members of a program for highly talented students. Their trip includes visits to the campuses of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University as well as a meeting with Mayor Bill Peduto.

Leading the students is Blanca Heredia, a board member for the U.S.- Mexico Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange. The trip was inspired, Heredia explained, by the idea of reimagining Mexico.

“A critical part of addressing Mexico’s challenges has to do with changing the narrative, changing the story we tell about Mexico's identity,” said Heredia.

A visit to Pittsburgh last year made an impression upon Heredia.

“I find it absolutely fascinating how Pittsburgh drew from the strengths of its history and its identity and used it to build something new.”

Acknowledging the country’s many challenges including environmental and justice problems, Heredia hopes Steel City inspiration will motivate the students in making Mexico a great place again.

In the meantime, Heredia says the students can make a contribution to Pittsburgh by attending graduate school, bringing diversity and reshaping American ideas about Mexicans..

“I’m particularly overjoyed Carnegie Mellon, particularly the Heinz College has generously offered all of our graduates who apply to their master’s programs a 50% tuition scholarship per semester.”

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