Four-Million-Dollar Anonymous Gift Helps Hundreds of Latino Students go to College.
Gift will go towards scholarships and support for 600 students.
San Francisco, CA (April 4, 2012) - The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), the leading provider of college scholarships to outstanding Latino students, 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 these students come from low-income homes, and are the first 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 isfocused on closing the “degree gap” that exists between Hispanic students and their peers.HSF’s vision is for the U.S. Latino degree attainment rate to increase from 19 percent t(Spanish version)o 60 percent by 2025. HSF estimates that will result in a significant increase in Latino lifetime earnings—from the current $24 trillion to $47 trillion (in current dollars) by 2025 if the goal is met.
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.”
About the Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Founded in 1975, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund believes that the country prospers when all Americans have access to the opportunities a college education can afford. As the nation’s leading Hispanic higher education fund, HSF works to address the barriers that keep many Latinos from earning a college degree. To date, HSF has awarded over $360 million in scholarships and has supported a broad range of outreach and education programs to help students and their families navigate collegiate life, from gaining admission and securing financial aid to finding employment after graduation. HSF envisions a future where every Latino household will have at least one college graduate, creating an enduring impact on the college outlook of Latino families nationwide, and strengthening the American economy for generations to come. For more information about the Hispanic Scholarship Fund please visit: www.HSF.net.
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