|19 Jul 2023|
|2023 Finalists Global Student Prize|
Maydelith comes from a background of extreme poverty and was raised alone by her mother. She also has a motor disability, which led to psychological bullying from her classmates – and even some of her teachers – in primary school. She could not get the proper assistance she needed to move around the school, and many times she felt marginalized and psychologically exhausted with no help.
However, all that changed when Maydelith won a place at COAR LIMA – a highly academically selective school (300 applicants are admitted out of around 9,000) and one of the best in the country. Maydelith’s teachers now say she is a born leader who knows how to look for quick solutions in difficulty. Among her wide academic interests, her special subject is chemistry. She has turned this to practical use in projects that help the community – for instance, by creating a chemical process to improve the quality of drinking water. Drugs that are present in wastewater ordinarily remain in the water system, but Maydelith process vastly reduces the concentration of such drugs, eliminating them before they can be reconsumed. This process was also exhibited by Maydelith in a CONCYTEC science fair (an organization which promotes science in Peru).
In addition to projects like this, Maydelith is a vibrant part of life in her school. She teaches her friends chemistry by using stories and other metaphors, which she has found very effective in creating understanding. Together with other colleagues she has also conducted special chemistry sessions for International Baccalaureate students, so that all of them finish school knowing chemistry and not only their science elective. This helps them in their applications to national and overseas universities.
Maydelith hopes to continue working with others to create change that contributes to a more just, respectful and inclusive society. Her teachers call her "Justiciera", because in any difficult situation she always tries to help the person in need to seek justice. If Maydelith wins the Global Student Prize, she will use the funds to create interactive workshops that promote psychological health for Peruvian children and adolescents, teach them entrepreneurial and leadership skills, and help them obtain funds to create small businesses. In addition, she would like to complete a long-dreamed-of project called "Let's Talk with our Hands", which seeks to promote and decentralize the teaching of Peruvian Sign Language. Since only 0.1% of people in Peru know Peruvian Sign Language, this makes life difficult for deaf people: funds would allow the creation of an app and website with videos to broaden knowledge of the language.