WASHINGTON (May 23, 2016) – The McCain Institute is pleased to announce Carlos Mayorga, a 2013 Next Generation Leader from Colombia, as the recipient of the inaugural McCain Institute Catalyst Grant.

The Catalyst Grant is designed to support and encourage top achievement in the implementation of a Next Generation Leader’s Leadership Action Plan. Catalyst Grants are annual monetary awards of up to $10,000. Awarded funds must go towards continuing the advancement and increasing the impact of the Leadership Action Plan in the Next Generation Leader’s home environment.

This year’s winner, Carlos Mayorga, is a businessman and entrepreneur. He has made substantial and consistent progress in enhancing employment opportunities in Colombia since returning home in September 2014. He created two companies, Global Blue Hydros and Astex Colombia, to provide entrepreneurial training and English language training to the Colombian workforce to promote job competitiveness and reduce the unemployment rate.

“Our new Catalyst Grants are powerful instruments to support our Next Generation Leaders in having leadership impact. I am delighted for Carlos and for young entrepreneurs in Colombia that he is our first recipient,” said Ambassador Michael Polt, Senior Director for the Next Generation Leaders program.

Through his work, Mr. Mayorga has created 600 jobs, 30 small businesses and provided thousands of Colombian citizens with access to educational programs in a second language.

Read Mr. Mayorga’s blog on his work in Colombia and view photos here.

“My mission as a business leader is focused on implementing disruptive ideas to change people’s lives. I would like to thank the staff at The McCain Institute for their trust, guidance and support. The Catalyst Grant encourages my leadership mission and I am fortunate to be the beneficiary of this wonderful recognition,” said Mr. Mayorga.

Sergio Moreno, an employee Mr. Mayorga hired in Medellin, Colombia, has benefited from the entrepreneurial training: “I formerly worked for a bank in Colombia, but now I am an entrepreneur thanks to Carlos Mayorga and his company Global Blue Hydros. Our employees have an immensely better work-life balance and are no longer subjected to long working hours with little financial compensation. We thank Carlos and Global Blue Hydros for enabling us to develop in business and improve our quality of life.”

Learn more about Mr. Mayorga and the Next Generation Leaders program here.