Professor gives back to Mexico

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Business Professor Mahmud Yusuf taught two classes for free Monday-Friday during his spring break, March 13-17, about small business entrepreneurship at the Instituto Tecnologico Superior de la Sierra Norte de Puebla in Zacatlán, Puebla, Mexico. Yusuf wanted to give back to the students. Photo by Brianna Rodrigue

Yusuf teaches Mexican students how to start a small business.

By Grace Reyes

Mahmud Yusuf, business professor at this college, went to teach entrepreneurship and how to start a business at the Instituto Tecnologico Superior de la Sierra Norte De Puebla in Zacatlán, Puebla, during spring break.

“I loved the fact that I got this connection in Mexico and helped these students,” Yusuf said.

“I felt that they did get some worth about of it.”

Yusuf taught two classes to 30 students each from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. In his classes he taught a total of six chapters that included the entrepreneur life, starting a small business, marketing and financing a business.

Students who were majoring in business were pulled from their English class to learn more about how to start a business.

“They never missed a class,” Yusuf said.

Yusuf enjoyed his trip and decided to arrange to do it for the next spring break.

“I cannot wait. I love it,” Yusuf said. “I would like to get someone from the English department who would help me translate for me.”

English as a second language was one of the biggest problems when Yusuf taught his classes, but he worked with his students to help them understand.

“What I did (for the students) was slowed down my speech, in terms of understanding what I was saying,” Yusuf said.

The idea started when one of his former international students, Manuel Zuñiga, from his class invited him to an entrepreneurship program at the Institute in September.

Yusuf then met the board director, Raul Espinosa Martinez, who invited him to teach at the Institute.

“Sometimes in life, it’s good to give back, and I would like to give back to you guys,” Yusuf said to Martinez.

Yusuf agreed to teach his entrepreneurship class at the Institute for free and all he asked in return was just pay for his expenses.

Instead of taking the money, Yusuf offered a new opportunity.

“I would like to start a scholarship with the money you are going to give me for teaching these classes,” Yusuf said to Martinez.

“I would like to start here at your university,” he said.

The scholarship is a woman’s scholarship named after Yusuf’s mom, Sultana. In 1945, Sultana started a nonprofit with seven other women called Women’s Rehabilitation Organization in Pakistan that has helped thousands of women start a small business.

“That organization is still around, and that was started by my mother. She’s a wonderful woman,” he said.

It will be for one student for one whole academic year.

“Some people don’t have the opportunity to stay here,” Zuñiga said. “With Yusuf’s scholarship it’s going to be very helpful to give students a chance to study at this institute.”

The only requirements are to have a 3.5 grade-point average and enrollment at the Institute, Yusuf said.

We are going to start the scholarship in September and cut the red ribbon for it,” Yusuf said.

The $3,000-$5,000 scholarship will be initiated on Sept. 6.

“I want to have enough money in that scholarship where we can give it to a student so we can afford her education,” Yusuf said.

For more information, contact Mahmud Yusuf at 210-486-0195.


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