CMPC’s “Construye Futuro” [Building the Future] program closed out the academic year in Nacimiento with 400 young people from Biobío and La Araucanía

The initiative promoted by CMPC, supported by the Portas Foundation, has so far helped 100 higher education students in southern Chile successfully complete their degrees, with 96.7% of students continuing in their studies and 82.4% successfully employable.

Construye Futuro consists of a comprehensive scholarship that provides support in various areas that go beyond merely economic, such as psychological, social, academic and soft skills support, which allows scholarship recipients to develop fully throughout the entire course of higher education until they are equipped to get their first job.

On Wednesday, 400 out of a total of 800 students who have been part of the initiative met in the Jorge Alessandri park in Nacimiento, Biobío Region, Chile, to get together once again with program participants and close out the 2023 academic year. 

For CMPC CEO Francisco Ruiz-Tagle this project is fundamental for developing the territories and their families. “We’re extremely happy, since together with the Portas Foundation we’re carrying out a program that has enabled 800 students to access higher education to date. Companies must be change agents having meaningful impact in the places where they operate, which is why the program adds to the efforts and initiatives we have underway in other locations where CMPC is present.”

Alicia Novoa, a nursing student at the Catholic University of the Most Holy Conception and part of the program said, “Thanks to the support they’ve given us starting with secondary school, we’ve had the chance to develop more fully while studying a university degree program. I’m very lucky.” The fact is that Construye Futuro accompanies the academic trajectory and life plans of the scholarship recipients until acquiring their first professional job. 

Success in Figures

To date, around 800 students have gone through the program, 100 of whom have already successfully completed their degree programs. These figures are a reflection of the initiative’s effectiveness, as we see that 96.7% remain in higher education, 84.2% graduate on time and 82.4% are successfully employable according to 2023 data from the Construye Futuro Program.

Portas Foundation Executive Director María Eugenia López pointed out that this program is a fundamental pillar for many people to feel hopeful about the future when a member of their families enters the world of higher education. “CMPC understands that social mobility is achieved through education, and we’re their allies in meeting the goal of mobilizing people in their own territories, so they can finally have a better life with improved opportunities for themselves and their families.”

Learning from the “Chilean Innovator of the Year”

The main speaker of the meeting was computer engineer Barbarita Lara, a professor at the Andrés Bello University, who spoke about her life experiences that helped her win multiple awards and recognitions, such as being named “Chilean Innovator of the Year”, “Chilean Inventor of the Year” and “Winner of the World Summit Award”. In honor of Engineering Day in the United Kingdom, the London Underground recently paid tribute to her as well, by naming one of the stations of the English underground train system after her. 

“I’m here to make the impossible possible, to show students that we can do anything we set our minds to, no matter what our economic background has been, no matter where we come from, and who our family is. When we work as a community, when we seek the common good, and we do things with purpose, then we can make progress. Here at the end of the world, we can create solutions for everything,” said Barbarita Lara.  

For Sabrina Alfaro, a Commercial Engineering student at the Universidad de la Frontera, it has been an essential support. “This comprehensive assistance has aided me a great deal economically, but it has also helped me socially, at the university and professionally, too”.