Latino Scholarship: the future is in good hands

Last night, my good friend Sarah and I were so excited to meet Kevin Cruz, the 2012 Cause & Effect Inc./Sarah Morenon scholarship student.

Here we are at the Latino Dollars for Scholars of RI annual banquet with Kevin and his mom. I’ve blogged about LADO before as they are this incredibly amazing all volunteer group that raises scholarship funding to help 18 Latino students each year. Scholarship America named them their 2012 New England Chapter of the Year.

We learned last night that only Mexico has a larger Latino population that the United States. Jon and I are so excited to contribute our scholarship each year and to meet this next generation of leaders. We are so incredibly encouraged by their stories of perseverance and possibility.

Kevin was high school valedictorian and is studying psychology at college with the hope to “earn enough money to … give back to my community by opening free therapeutic workshops in the city where I can work with kids and make sure they stay on the right path.”

He was incredibly charming. And the icing on the cake… Kevin was one of librarian Sarah’s students in middle school.

This is LADO’s 19th year awarding scholarships, assisting 290 Rhode Island students who have attended colleges throughout the United States. Some of the institutions LADO scholars attended include: Boston College, Boston University, Brown University, Bryant University, Community College of Rhode Island, Cornell University, George Washington University, Harvard University, Massachusetts University of Pharmacy, New York University, Northeastern University, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Rhode Island School of Design, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University, University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Rhode Island.

Though each scholarship that LADO awards is small when stacked against the total cost of college, these scholarships help students with those small expenses that make a big difference.

But what the scholarship winners report that matters quite a lot to them is knowing that there is a big community behind them cheering for their success. And many say that when they graduate, they are ready to give back as they’ve been given to.

How do you measure impact? I’d say that this warm embrace from a small but caring community organization is priceless.

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