I was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and adopted within three months by two generous individuals who changed my life forever. I grew up in an affluent community and learned to appreciate the value of opportunity: growing up in the right neighborhood and with the right peer group provides a leg up in life. While enjoying the benefits of a wealthy community, I always recognized that I could have easily grown up in less privileged circumstances. This attracted me to the Air Force Academy, an institution where money, socioeconomic background, or the color of your skin did not matter. Everyone had to earn success, and every day survived was a day earned. It truly was a level playing field and provided life-altering opportunities to those willing to work.
One summer, during my three-week leave from the Air Force Academy, I traveled to Mexico in search of my birth parents. I knew only my birth name (Moises Luna Soto) and my birth mother’s name (Josephina Luna Soto). I had no information about my birth father. With a roundtrip ticket and two friends from my squadron, I flew to Guadalajara. We found an official government building and walked in. With just my birthdate and the two names, the officials provided an address they claimed my mother used when I was born. We drove to the location, only to discover that the address did not exist. The street name and surrounding house numbers were correct, but the exact address was not there. The longer we searched, the clearer it became that I wouldn’t find my birth mother that day.
Though I was disappointed (and a little relieved and visited by many other conflicting emotions) not to find my birth parents during that trip, I did experience an area in Mexico in which I might have grown up had my fate been written differently. It reminded me of Eastern Europe after World War II. People slept on sidewalks and sat idly with bored, longing stares. At one point, I locked eyes with a young man around my age. It was like looking into a mirror image of what could have been. I began to wonder: Why me? What makes me different? What would he give to be in my shoes? What could he do, not only for himself, but for others, given the opportunities I had? At that moment, I knew then that I needed to make the most of what I was given. I vowed to give back and provide opportunities to those in need, so that they may also achieve their full potential.
In deciding where to help, I found that there are numerous impactful organizations that focus on early childhood, high school, and college. I looked at my own greatest opportunity and decided to focus on grad school, specifically the MBA. I met people while traveling in Mexico and served with veterans who were capable of getting in to the top schools but couldn’t afford to attend. Often, they were the only source of income for their family. They couldn’t take time off work, take out loans, or cover the cost for other reasons. We aim to help these individuals. This group, if given a chance to achieve their potential, would one day become the titans of industry and hopefully help those that follow achieve the same. This is the origin of the LunaCap Foundation.
The LunaCap Foundation seeks likeminded Mexicans (born anywhere in the world) or current active military or U.S. Armed Forces veterans who want to make a difference. The Foundation is need-based and will help offset the price tag of the MBA. Candidates will be selected based on performance but, more importantly, their desire to give back and create opportunities for others.