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Andres Jimenez

Andres Jimenez

"I finally understood the role I wanted to play in the complex puzzle of conservation and environmental management. I wanted to become a champion in designing and implementing solutions for environmental problems. In order to achieve real change, I realized we must build new models that make others obsolete. My problem was that the ideal place to do this was not my home Costa Rica.

York University was an ideal University for me. Little did I imagine that the biggest challenge would be to find a way financially that my family would not have to be separated.

My wife Carolina and I started a campaign that would lead us to achieve the unthinkable, in 5 months we would get all the financing for two years. We knew it was a risky option, but we were willing to give it our best. We applied for grants, applied for student loans, started a website, opened a Go Fund Me page and sought meetings with potential donors. After hundreds of meetings, knocking on many doors, the support began to arrive. Our dream would now become a reality.

Whilst studying at York, I worked hard with the Faculty of Environmental Studies to create the Ruby Throated Fund. The university officially created the scholarship and adopted it as funding priority. Once the Fund is completed, this program will give Costa Ricans the opportunity to take a Master’s in Environmental Studies at York.

On top of all that, while studying in Costa Rica I re-discovered a new population of frog that was believed to be extinct for 30 years.

Thinking back, if someone were to ask me if I would do it again, I would say yes! Not because it was easy, but because through hard work we are now giving more opportunities for future environmental leaders."

Andres Jimenez
Master of Environmental Studies
Faculty of Environmental Studies
Class of 2018