$4-million dollar anonymous gift to fund tuition for 600 Latino freshman
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund has received an anonymous gift of $4 million dollars which will enable the organization to award scholarships to 600 students who are currently college freshmen during the current academic year, with an opportunity of renewal in their sophomore year.
The majority of the students are pursuing careers in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), or health care fields. All of the students come from low-income homes, and are the first in their families to pursue a college degree.
“We were humbled and encouraged that someone felt so strongly about our mission to send an anonymous gift of $4 million dollars,” says Frank D. Alvarez, President and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. “We have a pool of academically-talented students, who would not have been selected to receive our support because of lack of funds,” he added, “thanks to this generous donation, these students can now continue to earn a college degree.”
“I will be the first to attend a four year university and achieve a bachelor’s degree. Having an abundance of little cousins and sisters I want them to have hope that they too can succeed” says Alejandro Pena, freshman accounting major from the DePaul University in Chicago, and one of the awardees. “I am creating footsteps for other Hispanics like my sisters and cousins to follow,” he added.
To help students like Alejandro, HSF created Generation 1st Degree, a new initiative which aims to send at least one member of every Latino household in America to complete a college degree. The initiative is focused on closing the “degree gap” that exists between Hispanic students and their peers.
HSF’s seeks to the boost degree attainment among Latinos from 19 percent to 60 percent by 2025.
This is not the first time HSF has received a gift of this nature. HSF was one of the organizations chosen by president Obama to share a portion of his Nobel Peace Prize, and Gil and Jacki Cisneros, who won $266 million in a multi-state lottery, donated a portion of their winnings to advance the Generation 1st Degree initiative in their hometown of Pico Rivera, Ca.
“Once there is a college graduate in the home, others in the family realize they too can pursue a college education,” says Alvarez, “if we want this nation to compete in the global economy, we need to help Latino students and their families believe college is possible, and help them with the resources to get there. This multimillion dollar donation will help us do just that.”