Julio Peraza studied Food Enginnering at the University of Cesar, in Valledupar . He graduated in June 2005, and works in food processing, sausage and food production with the university. As a child, he lost an eye in an accident and grew up with a face disfiguration which affected his self esteem and impaired his ability to inter-act with his peers.
In January of 2003, Arleen Cheston, MFI Board Member and Chair person of FOC, met Julio at the award ceremony, and became interested in his well being. Upon returning to the US , she collected funds among FOC members to give Julio an eye-prosthesis. In February 2004, Julio underwent his operation and he is now an assertive young man who leads above food production program in his school. In Julio's own words: "I am very happy now. I was given a new life."