JA Student Represents Women at UN in New York
By Matt Robertson
When asked what her wildest dream would be, Karina Muñoz pauses to contemplate her answer. Sunlight streams into the green courtyard of her family’s home in Col San Antonio, where she lives with her parents, grandmother, and two younger sisters when not attending school.
“I want to run an organization that helps improve the lives of others, and that makes the world a better place,” she says. As the first in her family to attend university, she is well on her way.
This academic term, she completes her third and final year of her degree in industrial relations at the University of Guanajuato, which prepares her for a career in human resources management, allowing her to work directly with people.
“I like it because when you know another person, you know a little part of the history of their lives. Many people are looking for a job, for better opportunities, and I can help.” Even now, before the completion of her program, her impact extends beyond the confines of campus.
Muñoz was selected recently to represent Mexico at the United Nations’ 62nd Commission on the Status of Women, which functions to empower women and girls around the world, particularly in rural areas. “As young people, we got to make sure our perspectives were represented in this important conversation. To see others my age speaking at this event inspired me to think more about how I could make a difference myself.”
She also participates in a model UN Assembly, playing the role of general secretary for the State of Guanajuato, and is now working on a followup proposal to address the challenges women and girls face in Mexico today that were identified at the commission.
The invitation to the UN’s headquarters in New York City was made possible by Muñoz’s accomplished participation and leadership role as coordinator of the university debate team of Guanajuato. Though not one to boast about her achievements, she is no stranger to accolades from the state’s premier educational institution. Beyond winning the title of Best Debater in the 10th National University Debate Congress, Muñoz has received awards such as Manos por el Mundo, Rumbo a Japón, the Municipal Youth Award, and has been recognized for her participation in a research project on “smart cities.”
What’s striking in light of these accomplishments is Muñoz’s unassuming manner, calm confidence, gracious demeanor, and palpable drive, all which indicate the potential extent of the positive impact she will have on those with whom she will work. While admittedly nervous, she’s excited to begin her job search and to have her next youngest sister pursue a university experience, possibly in business. In the limited free time that she has, she enjoys reading works by Jules Verne and spending time with her family.
Jóvenes Adelante sponsors top-ranked students from San Miguel who otherwise cannot
afford university, helping break the cycle of poverty while building a skilled Mexican
workforce. Right now, mentors (especially those who speak Spanish) are needed for this year’s scholarship recipients. To volunteer or donate to Jóvenes Adelante, see
jovenesadelante.org or call 150 0030.