Born in Mexico, Andrés Montes ’19 was inspired by the American dream of success being largely determined by one’s actions. As a teen in California, Andres attended a college preparatory school. He had no means for tuition, but his academic achievement and initiative resulted in scholarships. Montes says, “The education I received and the people I have met have made me who I am today.”
“I decided to enroll at Cornell because it had unparalleled resources and a diversity of bright students. The breadth of studies and opportunities at Cornell University stood out from all my other choices.”
This Gates Millennium Scholar has a minor in business focused on international trade and development.
ILR’s multidisciplinary approach to understanding labor fit his interests of interpreting economics, statistics, and law on a subject area that he says will provide boundless opportunities.
Since his arrival at Cornell, he has worked on projects tackling economic and health issues in five countries, beginning his dream to help the world. In Nicaragua, Montes was on a team that explored better management practices in local businesses. One outcome was a transparent ladder compensation scheme.
Montes founded, and was the president of the Cornell Chapter of Refresh Bolivia, a Cambridge-based nongovernment organization working toward bringing sanitation and higher levels of hygiene to impoverished areas in Bolivia. In Cornell’s Social Business Consulting Group, he provides pro bono work to entrepreneurs around the world.
Last spring, he studied at Singapore Management University earning a certificate in Southeast Asian Studies. He stayed an extra month to work at HiveUp, a finance technology company. Over the summer, Montes interned at JP Morgan in the New York metro area.
By high school, Montes began volunteering for social causes.
Using either English or Spanish, and his mind or his hands, Montes has been working with nonprofits, and community organizations by constructing concrete seats and tables in a Jamaican school, and by helping build a home in Mexico.
Montes took diversity training and led workshops to increase understanding, promote acceptance and reduce prejudice.
“I want to help others discover that their potential is only limited by their decisions.”
“In my lifetime, I hope to help alleviate poverty in secluded areas in developing countries by connecting them to the global market.”
“Poverty deserves a holistic social approach in which all communities, regardless of their level of development, can benefit of the modern economy,” he said.
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Montes credits ILR for connecting him to the world, and his family for instilling universal values to interpret it.