Maria Antonieta Alcalde Castro

YC Member 1999-2005

From Mexico

After retiring from the Youth Coalition in November of 2005, I was invited by International Planned Parenthood Federation – Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF-WHR) to create an advocacy strategy for the organization and to collaborate with them as Advocacy Officer. For that reason, I moved from Mexico City to New York to commit to this new challenge.

The transition into working at IPPF was an extraordinary way to move from the youth activism to the adult movement, and it has given me the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills I gained through my work with the Youth Coalition and as a young activist to one of the largest sexual and reproductive health organizations in the world. Recently I was promoted to IPPF WHR Deputy-Director of Public Affairs, where I am responsible for the development, coordination and implementation of IPPF WHR Public Affairs strategy, including their Advocacy and communications strategies.

Being part of the Youth Coalition has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life. From the YC I learned the following: the importance of taking the time needed to set strong foundations; that cultural differences can be challenging, but are above all, an asset; that you can do very serious work and have the time of your life at the same time; and most importantly, I have learned that we really can change the world if we commit to it.