Are you or do you know college bound youth that are worried about how they are going to pay for school once they get acceptance letters?
So last week, I had the distinct honor to cover the Hispanic Scholarship Alumni Hall of Fame Gala at Cipriani Wall Street. Surrounded by community builders, change agents and influencers that had a single thing in common, a goal to make sure that college bound Latinos have the resources they need to get in college. As I sat there in the moment, happy to see this all networking and collaborating happening all at once… I could not help but get sad.
The sadness is personal and not meant to detract from the success of this gala (they raised over 104k at this event), but was triggered by an impromptu periscope interview I had with a dynamic young lady named Yaritza (who works at Columbia University) The interview was amazing and truly reflects success for this young lady who is one of 60,000 students to receive almost a half billion dollars in HSF Scholarships in 40 years. I would be remiss if I did not mention that she works as a grant writer to fund scholarships like the ones that helped her graduate. That is paying it forward.
So why was I sad?
You see, I did not know about HSF when I was in High School. I did not even know college was an option for me until I was 24, when my good friend Myrna Noble brought me an application to the SUNY Old Westbury EOP Program. I enrolled at the age of 25… and just a year later founded my startup, a small project called Sofrito For Your Soul that would eventually evolve into a small agency called Sofrito Media Group, Inc.
Now I made it but I could have easily become a statistic… of poverty, incarceration and even a potential victim of violence due to my lack of education. An opportunity that was available to me and I simply just did not know it existed.
My task now, is to make sure that you and those you love know about the opportunities available at HSF and I ask you that you share it far and wide, on all of your social networks so that the kid dreaming of college does not have to defer that dream because of financial need. We need to promote the culture of college in our community… ESTAMOS DE ACUERDO?
I am going to reconnect with HSF and figure out some ways we can help promote scholarships to our college bound kids in the coming months. In the meantime… get to know them better.
Here is an overview of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund:
(as per their website –> www.HSF.net)
Founded in 1975, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund empowers Latino families with the knowledge and resources to successfully complete a higher education, while providing scholarships and support services to as many exceptional Hispanic American students as possible. HSF strives to make college education a top priority for every Latino family across the nation, mobilizing our community to proactively advance that goal – each individual, over a lifetime, in every way he/she can. HSF seeks to give its Scholars all the tools they need to do well in their course work, graduate, enter a profession, excel, help lead our nation going forward, and mentor the generations to come. As the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization supporting Hispanic American higher education, the Fund has awarded over $470 million in scholarships and provides a range of ancillary programs for students, HSF Scholars, Alumni, and parents. For more information about the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, please visit: HSF.net.
- Build a coalition of corporate and philanthropic partners and a nation committed to increasing Hispanic degree attainment.
- Ensure every Hispanic household in the U.S. has at least one college graduate, inspiring and mentoring others in the family and community.
- Increase Hispanic degree attainment based on changing Hispanic demographics
Increasing College Knowledge
- 1,600 college planning workshops reaching more than 350,000 Hispanic families since 2000
- Bi-lingual PSAs in over 33,000 national multi-media outlets
- College resources delivered to 190,000 households
- Over 1.8 million web visitors
- 100,000+ publications
Providing Financial Resources
- Over $470 Million in scholarships since 1975
- Over 5,100 scholarships awarded annually
- Over two thirds are first generation and low-income
- 36 HSF Scholar Chapters on college campuses nationwide
- 1st year retention workshops for transfer planning support and graduate school preparation
- HSF Alumni Network with over 60,000 former and present scholarship recipients
- Career Center – internships and job opportunities with HSF partner organizations