Zurlo '87 wins Latin Trade humanitarian award

By Winnie Yoe, The Dartmouth Staff | 10/19/11 3:53pm



Courtesy Of Worldfund

Lu­anne Zurlo ’87, founder of World­fund, was named the BRAVO Hu­man­i­tar­ian of the Year ear­lier this month by Latin Trade, a busi­ness pub­li­ca­tion in Latin Amer­ica.

On a busi­ness trip to Mex­ico City Zurlo saw first-hand the huge ed­u­ca­tion gap in Latin Amer­ica that in­spired her to changed her life. She was de­ter­mined to give back to her re­gion and the events of 9/11 acted as “a final push” for her as she re­al­ized “life is short,” ac­cord­ing to Latin Trade.

In 2002, Zurlo left her nine-year ca­reer as a se­cu­ri­ties an­a­lyst at Gold­man Sachs to start World­fund, an NGO ded­i­cated to im­prov­ing the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion in Latin Amer­ica. Zurlo part­nered with Dart­mouth’s Ras­sais Cen­ter for World Lan­guages and Cul­tures to start the In­ter-Amer­i­can Part­ner­ship for Ed­u­ca­tion aim­ing to im­prove Eng­lish teach­ing in Mex­ico. Mex­i­can teach­ers travel to Hanover for an in­ten­sive course de­signed by Dart­mouth pro­fes­sor John A. Ras­sias, fol­lowed by three years of men­tor­ing in Mex­ico.

Zurlo did not take a pay­check for the first three years and the group’s bank ac­count at one point dwin­dled to $2000, she said. Now, how­ever, World­fund has branched out to other re­gions in Latin Amer­ica and pro­vided over $11 mil­lion to schools, af­ter-school aca­d­e­mic pro­grams and teacher/prin­ci­pal train­ing.

Winnie Yoe, The Dartmouth Staff