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SPAIN: The 32nd Don Bosco National Awards evaluated 45 innovative projects developed from Salesian training centers

(MissionNewswire) On Mar. 13, the 32nd Don Bosco National Awards was held to acknowledge innovative projects developed in the fields of secondary education, vocational training and educational activities within educational centers in Spain. There were 45 projects presented this year and 1,030 that have been presented as part of this awards ceremony over the course of its history. This year, 61 students and 31 teachers from 22 educational centers participated.

The jury members who evaluated the projects came from technology companies, polytechnic universities, professional associations and public administrations. The projects were presented and evaluated at a Salesian sports center in Zaragoza, Spain with the awards presented at the center’s auditorium.

Javier Sirvent, specialist in digital transformation at the Salesian center, facilitated the awards ceremony and presented the prizes. The Mario Rubio Award, a tribute to the Salesian creator and promoter of the Don Bosco National Award, is presented each year to a person with a renowned professional career. This year the award was presented to Amado Franco, president of the IberCaja Foundation, a local nonprofit that promotes social and cultural projects.

The Don Bosco National Award is an acknowledgment of entrepreneurship, teamwork and innovation. Since its creation in 1984, the competition has made an important contribution in the field of education and in the relations between academia and business. The Don Bosco National Awards is a showcase for entrepreneurial initiatives applicable to future company projects.

“The Don Bosco National Award wants to be more than a prize,” says Father Juan Bosco Sancho, director of the initiative. “This competition aims to be a stimulus and a point of transformation for those who participate. For students and teachers, it is an incentive for innovative skills, to become aware of the importance of research and explore the possibilities of contributing to the improvement of society.”

Salesian centers in Spain operate close to 50 vocational and technical training centers that employ 1,300 teachers and offer 17,000 students a chance to gain an education. All Salesian centers have the support of companies from a variety of business sectors to give students real-world work experience.

Close to 37 percent of young Spanish workers under the age of 25 are unemployed and a growing number of them can’t afford to buy enough food to live. Poor youth with few employable skills struggle the most to find and retain stable employment. Women in Spain face inequality in the workforce. They earn up to 14 percent less than men and represent only 34.5 percent of those listed as the highest earners in Spain.

Salesian missionaries have been working for many years to provide educational and workforce development opportunities for poor youth and women in Spain through residential and technical and vocational training programs.



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