Low income Latino high school graduates facing social and economic challenges preventing them from becoming contributors to our society
In the early 1990's an small group of Latino leaders met in a basement of their new church, to talk about social justice issues that were being faced by newly arrived immigrants. Some of them raised alarming concerns: "Our children are not being properly educated", "They will not be elegible to enroll into higher education", "They may end up enrolling into a low paying job, or worse yet, enrolling into criminal activities". "They are not given an opportunity to develop their full potential". We need to do something...
As we continued exploring ways to overcome such issues, someone said: " I'm an entrepreneur, but I have no idea how businesses operate here, if I was given the opportuntiy and the tools to open my own business and become succesful, I would give back to the community, so our children can become active citizens and contributors to our sociey". Since then, there has been a group called the Latino scholarship fund dedicated to remid us of one of our social responsabilities "Building the human capital of our future".
There are two main community advisory committees, one is to provide guidance and to establish goals, as well as to decide how much to raise, to grow the endowment and award scholarships. Another independent committee reviews applications and select scholarship recipients.
I became a member of the first group and would encourage everyone to consider supporting this program, that since 2006 to date has raised more than $250,000 of which $100,000 are deposited into a permanent endowment and $150,000 have been awarded in scholarships to 37 low income Latino students.
Today we are fundraising to give hope to our Latino youth that will become the social fabric of our tomorrow. It is our expectation that this fund grows big enough to provide "Hope" to low income Latino students of today, and to all low income students of the future, regardless of their immigration status.