June 6, 2022

The 600 students obtaining benefit from the Construye Futuro CMPC – Portas program come from the Maule, Ñuble, Biobío, La Araucanía and Los Ríos regions.

“At first I didn’t take into account the whole process that it had taken to get here, it was like I hadn’t valued my own effort and that of my mom until I realized that it hadn’t been easy, it had cost me a lot,” says Joselyn Torres, a beneficiary of the CMPC-Portas program, who studies pedagogy at the University of Concepción and who has been receiving the scholarship for two years.

Together with other scholarship students, she participated in the 2022 launch of the CMPC-Portas Construye Futuro Program, an instance in which the general manager of Empresas CMPC, Francisco Ruiz-Tagle, was present; the president of the Portas Foundation, Octavio Lizama; and that also featured a talk by Cristián García-Huidobro, the first Chilean and South American who managed to reach the top of Mount Everest.

Like many higher education students, Joselyn had to leave her hometown, Tirúa, to study in Concepción. The same case is that of Lenin Osses, a 21-year-old student from Laja, who studies construction engineering at the University of Bío-Bío.

“I think that without the program it would be very complicated for me, if it hadn’t been for the scholarship I wouldn’t have been able to be studying in Concepción now, since the expenses are very high. If it weren’t for this, I wouldn’t be able to rent, because I still have gratuity, so without the scholarship to be able to pay, unfortunately I wouldn’t have been able to continue studying, I would have had to freeze and probably be working”, explains Lenin Osses.

In addition, he adds how important the comprehensive support provided by this program has been for him. “Economically it is very good, it serves us all, but it also matters emotionally. One needs to unburden oneself with someone and that is what the scholarship offers us. That many times in the subject of studies, one sometimes fails to understand, then one gets frustrated and there are the tutors, who help us and motivate us”.

The “Construye Futuro” project includes, apart from economic aid, monthly individual socio-emotional support, leveling workshops for young people entering higher education, academic tutorials for those who require support, workshops for the development of soft skills and workshops and advice to prepare for their entry into the world of work.

“This program is like the small push towards the great life to build a better future and contribute a little to make a better society. It is super complete, in every area, because it contributes to us financially, socially and also in the academic area, it contributes to us in several aspects”, says Benjamín Sáez, an 18-year-old from Cañete, who this year began studying Automotive engineering at Duoc UC in Concepción.

In his speech, Francisco Ruiz-Tagle, General Manager of Empresas CMPC, valued the alliance with Fundación Portas. “This initiative has allowed us as CMPC to support the training of more than 600 young people from remote rural areas who study at top-level universities in Chile; and that they receive comprehensive support through the program that contributes to insertion in the university community and adaptation to large cities”.

Meanwhile, Octavio Lizama, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Portas Foundation, recalled its mission as an institution. “Our mission is that all students, regardless of their economic status or where they come from, can finish their higher education studies, can successfully go to work and thus transform their own lives and those of their community. Here in Biobío and La Araucanía we have found a great partner such as CMPC, which has trusted our work and we already have 600 interns”.

The Construye Futuro CMPC – Portas Program, which began in 2019, seeks to accompany and deliver tools throughout the duration of the scholarship students’ careers. This, in order to ensure a good insertion in the first year, university progression and that allows the qualification and training of a comprehensive professional, capable of contributing to their communities, region and country.