Dr. Maria Teresa Quirós Fernández Fosters the Spirit of Philanthropy at MIS 
Dr. Maria Quiros Fosters Spirit of Philanthropy at MIS

 

MIS would like to welcome our new Fundraising and Philanthropy Coordinator, Dr. Maria Teresa Quirós Fernández.  In this post, Maria introduces herself and explains why and how her career became dedicated to meaningful, philanthropic work. 

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The core motivation that drives my thinking and doing is my deep conviction in the good in people. The root of the word ‘philanthropy’ is Greek - "philos" meaning love and "anthropos" humanity.  Philanthropy means the love of humanity.  We can express love of humanity through kindness, volunteering our time, giving of our resources, and working for the good of others.  

My story begins with my father passing away when I was just three years old. I learned early on about the fragility of life, the weight of loss, and the profound blessing of experiencing and cherishing every moment. His illness and premature death sensitized me to the struggles and pain that others face.

During my research for my PhD on autobiographies, I realized the power we hold in shaping and narrating our own stories and our identity. What story and stories do we want to tell at MIS? 

Every day, reading and watching the world news is heart breaking. At the same time, there are so many wonderful things happening that don’t get recognized on the world news.  I am amazed every day how the smallest actions make a change. A smile, a helping hand, or a kind word have an impact. Expertise and money can be used to dramatically improve the lives of others. 

My work with one of the largest childcare organizations, SOS Kinderdörfer weltweit exposed me to the resilience of children facing extreme situations, where pain and the spirit of overcoming were closely intertwined. Even in desperate moments, the right people working together could create something good. 
 
I fundamentally believe in the goodness of people and the essence of philanthropy guides my thoughts and actions. My role at MIS is to cultivate a spirit of philanthropy in all its forms: acts of kindness, acts of giving, and acts of service towards others.  As I dream of furthering our school's growth, I envision instilling a sense of the magic that philanthropy can bring.  Together, we can leverage this spirit to enhance the educational experience for our students and prepare them for a world in need with plenty of space to shape it for good with wonderful and inspirational future ideas.