Edwin Quito a Community Leader in His Own Right Ecuadorian Edwin Quito, never imagined where the twists and turns of life would take him. “I would have never dreamed that my life would unfold this way and the many incredible opportunities it would lead me to experience at such a young age,” said Edwin. Born and raised in El Valle de los Chillos, located on the outskirts of Quito, in the Andean highlands of Ecuador, Edwin has always had a thirst for exploring life. Growing up, his parents always motivated him to strive for greatness and to constantly expand his horizons. Edwin’s parents moved to New Jersey in search of better opportunities that would help them provide a better future for their kids but Edwin and his sister stayed in Ecuador to finish high school. “When I graduated from high school, my parents asked me and my sister to come live with them in the United States,” he said. “Little did I know, that decision would change my life forever.” At the age of 18, Edwin came to the United States fresh out of high school in search of a higher level of education and ready to explore new opportunities. While living with his parents in New Jersey, Edwin learned English at the Hudson County Community College and also obtained an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. “At first it was very hard,” he explained. “Learning English was difficult and I also missed my family and friends.” However, Edwin’s only option was to persevere because he knew once he completed his education, he could go back to Ecuador. “After finishing my studies in Criminal Justice, my parents convinced me to get a bachelors degree, because they wanted me to have a University Degree that would help me succeed in Ecuador,” explained Edwin. With their support, Edwin continued with his education at the New Jersey City University and got a Bachelors in Political Science. According to Edwin, this was a determining factor in his journey to success. “During my time at New Jersey City University, I got an internship at the United Nations Permanent Mission of the Dominican Republic, volunteered at the non-profit Juventud Ecuatoriana, which engages the
community and offers scholarships for young Ecuadorians, as well as, became one of the leads of the Model UN.” These experiences opened a new world of possibilities for Edwin changing his perspective of what he wanted to achieve in life. After graduating in 2012 from New Jersey City University, Edwin attended an event at the Consulate of Ecuador in New York City. During the event, he learned of the newly implemented and fully funded scholarship program by the Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología (SENESCYT) of Ecuador. “Once I learned that the SENECYT was willing to fully fund my education and that the only condition was to go back to Ecuador after I had completed it, I decided to pursue a masters degree in international relations,” he sad. Not long after that Edwin was accepted at in the Masters in Global Affairs program at New York University. We are certain that Edwin’s passion for his Ecuadorian community and his eagerness to discover new horizons not only will surely lead him to become a successful leader but also make him a great example to follow for youth everywhere.