Juan Felipe Diaz Gutierrez
Throughout his high school career, Juan Felipe dedicated himself to several service projects in his hometown Bogotá. He began his voluntary service four years ago by committing himself to a foundation that helps children from low-income families pay for cancer treatment and education, organizing several fundraisers, becoming a good friend to the children through frequent visits and organizing their annual Christmas party.
Through his school, Colegio Gran Bretaña, Juan Felipe was able to support a school project for children, who had been displaced by the violence, in Cazucá, a very underprivileged area of the city of Bogotá. Juan Felipe organized several bake sales, collected donated toys, led his school’s annual Health Brigade, in which more than 100 children from Cazucá received a full medical check, and presented a seminar on values, sexuality and the importance of respecting one’s body. Juan Felipe also tutored the children in art, dance, sports, music and English. All of these activities created a strong bond between the children and Juan Felipe and helped reduce the socioeconomic disparities in his community.
Juan Felipe enjoyed immersing himself in the stories of the lives, achievements and frustrations of the elderly, through his service at the retirement home “La Manuelita.” He became aware of the abandonment that the seniors experience from their families, and how contemporary society discriminates against them and sets them apart. At his school, Juan Felipe had the role of Secretary General in two consecutive Model of United Nations, led the Environmental Committee and worked with anti-bullying campaigns as Head Prefect.
Juan Felipe feels honored and very fortunate to be a part of the Ingram Scholarship Program. He is determined to continue his service with less privileged children and the elderly in the Nashville community. He also looks forward to incorporating his studies in Economics with his service by joining the micro-finance initiatives and exploring new options for stimulating economic development in communities in need.