Things That Matter

Latinos Need To Keep These 18 Scholarships In Mind When Applying To College And Grad School

You’ve probably heard about all of the rich and famous people facing serious legal consequences for bribing college officials to get their kids into top colleges. While most of us don’t have it like that, we need to fight even harder to take the spots we deserve in those universities. As you apply for colleges, don’t forget about these important scholarships to help you outdo anyone who paid for their place in college.

According to the Pew Research Center, there are fewer and fewer Latino students are going to college. In fact, despite how rapidly the Latino community is growing in the U.S., a widening education gap lands us at half as likely to hold a college degree as non-Latino white adults according to The Education Trust. Why?

Hechinger reports that immigration is the likely factor that’s limiting Latinos.

CREDIT: @scholdotcom / Twitter

While U.S.-born Latinos are on par with non-Latino black Americans’ college attainment (about 30 percent), that drops to just 17 percent when we look at Latino adults born abroad. That gap is likely explained by documentation, which prevents students from qualifying for in-state tuition.

Here are a few scholarships that can make higher education more possible for Latinos.

1. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund

CREDIT: @hsfphotos / Twitter

You don’t have to be a high school student to apply. This scholarship is for graduate students as well, with a focus on STEM majors.

GPA Requirement: 3.0 (high school) and 2.5 (college)

Award: This merit-based scholarship ranges from $500 to $5,000 based on relative need.

2. ¡Adelante! Fund

CREDIT: @smcadelanteclub / Instagram

If you go to scholarships.com, you’ll find a variety of ¡Adelante! scholarships with a range of eligibility requirements. Some require attendance to Leadership Institutes, banquets and all require community service commitments.

GPA Requirement: 2.75

Award: $1,000-$3,000

3. Ann Seki Memorial Scholarship

CREDIT: @coneval_mx / Twitter

With Chevron as a sponsor, you can expect a big chunk of change. Named after the original member of its Hispanic recruiting team, Ann Seki, who worked for three decades to hire Latinxs and diverse employees, this is for you if you’re into almost any kind of engineering.

GPA Requirement: 3.3

Award: $500 to $10,000

4. Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Scholarships

CREDIT: @cxm1k / Twitter

The SHPE offers nine different scholarship opportunities for a variety of differently-aged students with an obvious focus in engineering.

GPA Requirement: 2.75

Award: $2,000-$5,000.

5. Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship Application

CREDIT: @bgcgreatersandiego / Instagram

The Anhelo Project is for Illinois students who are undocumented and don’t have to be registered under DACA. Since 2011, they’ve awarded over $100,000 to more than 50 recipients.

GPA Requirement: 2.50

6. AMS Minority Scholarships

CREDIT: @REMEZCLA / Twitter

This scholarship is for every underrepresented minority, with a specific interest in “atmospheric or related oceanic and hydrologic sciences.”

GPA Requirement: NONE

Award: $6,000 in two installments

7. The Randy Falco Scholarship

CREDIT: @TheEmmys / Twitter

Yep, this comes from the actual Academy, and this scholarship is meant for Latinos pursuing careers in journalism or television only.

Award: $10,000

8. ACS Scholars Program

CREDIT: @LULFOUNDATION / Twitter

This FAFSA-based scholarship is for any graduating high school senior or college student with a major in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, chemical technology, or another chemistry-related science.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Award: $2,500-$5,000 depending on college grade level.

9. La Unidad Latina DREAM Scholarship

CREDIT: @LULFOUNDATION / Twitter

This scholarship es solamente por los Dreamers. That means you must be registered under DACA, and have already completed one year of undergrad.

GPA Requirement: 2.8

Grant: $500 to $3,000

10. Puerto Rican Relief Scholarship

CREDIT: @LULFoundation / Twitter

The LUL Foundation has also created a scholarship for those Boricuas enrolled on the island. It should help those who have been displaced or affected by Hurricane Maria.

Check out www.lulf.org for more info.

11. Haz La U Program

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Colgate Palm Olive. 21 January 2019.

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation partnered with monopoly Colgate-Palmolive to offer 31 scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $15,000 for Hispanic youth.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

12. National Association of Hispanic Journalists

CREDIT: officialnahj / Instagram

NAHJ describes its scholarship opportunities as “open to college-bound high school seniors, college undergraduates, and graduate students pursuing careers in English or Spanish-language print, broadcast, digital, or photojournalism.”

GPA Requirement:

Award: $1,500 to $5,000

13. Liberty Power Bright Horizons Scholarship

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Liberty Power Corp. 21 January 2019.

Did you know that Liberty Power is Latino-owned? That’s why it’s offering major scholarships to any student majoring in STEM programs, who are interested in energy and the environment.

GPA Requirement:

Awards: $4,000 to $10,000

14. Actuarial Diversity Scholarship

CREDIT: @ebalexan / Twitter

This scholarship isn’t just for Black, Latino, Pacific Islander and Indigenous Peoples’ who are into books. They want to become actuaries, one of the highest paying accounting professions.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Award: $1,000-$4,000

15. NBC Universal/LNESC Scholarship

CREDIT: @NBC / Instagram

If you’re already a sophomore or junior college student with an interest in media and entertainment, then you might be eligible!

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Award: $5,000 for ten winners

16. The Carlos M. Casteñeda Journalism Scholarship

CREDIT: @alocuba / Instagram

This scholarship is for Spanish-speaking college graduates looking to get a Masters in journalism. We need you to apply and get out there.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Award: $7,000

17. CUNY Becas Scholarship Program

CREDIT: @ieltscoach911 / Twitter

The City University of New York Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute offers scholarships to its students who are registered DACA recipients. You have to be committed to serving the Mexican community. Facil, no?

GPA Requirement: NONE

Award: $6,730

18. MALDEF Law School Scholarship Program

CREDIT: @meformagrupo / Instagram

If you’re here for the long civil rights overhaul for Latino-Americans, keep your eyes on this prize. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is offering 15 awards of $5,000 to Latinos in law school who are committed to advancing Latino civil rights as a career.

Plus, so many more!

CREDIT: @van_hyundai / Twitter

It’s easy to find the dozens of scholarships that are geared towards Latinos an other minorities, and every step you take toward closing the education gap for Latinos can only help other Latinos (namely, you to start with). Have you benefitted from one of these scholarships? Share this article and encourage your friends to dream big!


READ: College Is An Incredible Experience If You Do It Right. Here Are 21 Tips To Make The Most Of It

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This Latina Used Her Business Savvy to Launch An App That Helps Undocumented Students Find Financial Aid

Things That Matter

This Latina Used Her Business Savvy to Launch An App That Helps Undocumented Students Find Financial Aid

In senior year of high school, Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca was told by her school’s guidance counselor that her dream of attending a four-year college was not in the cards for her. Salamanca, who had just found out that she was undocumented, had worked up the courage to tell her counselor about her immigration status. Instead of the support she was looking for, she was instead met with a discouraging response. “…She said to me, ‘People like you don’t go to college,’” Salamanca recently told Remezcla. Salamanca, needless to say, was devastated. 

Unfortunately, due to Salamanca’s status as an undocumented immigrant, she wasn’t eligible for federal financial aid. And because Salamanca was one of 11 children, she didn’t have the financial means to pay for college out-of-pocket. According to Salamanca, the conversation with her guidance counselor broke her “into a million pieces”. “This was the moment where I lost all hopes of being the first in my family to go to college”. But in the end, Salamanca had the last laugh. 

Years later, Salamanca used this experience to inspire her to create “Dreamers Roadmap”–a free mobile app that helps undocumented students find financial aid for college. 

While Salamanca was unable to take the traditional educational route that many entrepreneurs take, she instead used her grit and business-savvy to commit to changing the system that had failed her. “It took me a while to realize that I was probably not the only one in this situation,” Salamanca told Forbes. Once she had that revelation, she decided it was up to her to fix the problem. Instead of taking the traditional four-year college route, Salamanca enrolled in community college and got to work building her own business.

First, Salamanca devoted herself to creating a blog that gave undocumented and low-income students information about scholarship opportunities. When realized that she was one of 3.6 million Dreamers in the U.S. who were unable to qualify for federal financial aid, Salamanca realized she had an un-tapped market on her hands. Deciding to go a step further, Salamanca decided to create an app specifically for undocumented students who were looking to fund their college education. Despite having no formal background in tech, she applied for tech competitions–like the 2013 Hackathon for Dreamers. She left that competition with renewed confidence in both her ideas and her leadership abilities. It was then that she committed to both bringing her app idea into fruition and taking on a role as CEO.

Spurred on by her initial success, Salamanca decided to try her hand at the Voto Latino Innovators Challenge in 2014.

At the time, Voto Latino (founded by Latina actress Rosario Dawson) had put out a call for “Millennial-led projects that will improve the lives of and expand opportunities for Latinos in the U.S.”. Taking a leap of faith Salamanca decided to apply for the priciest grant: $100,000. Although she had no idea if she’d win, she decided it was worth a try. ” I thought to myself, ‘Well if I win even half, that’s a huge win for my project'”. And it seems that Voto Latino recognized the potential of her project as well.

Salamanca was ultimately chosen as a finalist for the competition and entered the final rounds in Washington D.C. as the only community college student as well as the only sole-female founder. At the challenge, Salamanca pitched her project to a panel of all-star judges that included Rosario Dawson, America Ferrera, and Wilmer Valderrama. Apparently, Salamanca made an impression. Voto Latino gave “Dreamers Roadmap” a grant of $100,000 towards funding. 

Now that Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca is CEO of her own company, her future has never been brighter. 

Salamanca has come a long way from being told that college is “not for people like her”. Now, Dreamers Roadmap has over 30,000 users and is integral to the college-admission process for many undocumented students. Not only was Salamanca named a “Champion of Change” at the White House in 2014, but she also received a House of Representatives Award in 2015, and placed in Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30 list. Although she has encountered numerous obstacles in her life due to her ethnicity, gender, tax bracket, and immigration status, she has overcome them all through determination and perseverance. 

But more than any of these other accomplishments, it’s the impact she’s had on people’s lives that is the most impressive. To date, Dreamers Roadmap has helped over 20,000 students find scholarships for college. “We hear from our users via social media or email on how our app has changed their lives,” she said in an interview with Forbes. “Hearing their stories reminds me that we are doing a good job and fulfilling our mission of bringing hope and financial opportunities to immigrant communities”. 

Here’s Why Everyone Is Celebrating This Chicago Teen And His Acceptance To Harvard

Culture

Here’s Why Everyone Is Celebrating This Chicago Teen And His Acceptance To Harvard

YeahThatsAmado / YouTube

As Latinos, making it through higher education is never easy. For some, there is the stress of being the first in our families to attend college or just being able to afford school in general. That’s why it’s special every time we hear about a fellow Latino’s success in the classroom. 

This applies to Amado Candelario, a Harvard freshman, who is proof of overcoming barriers and following your college dreams. The world was first introduced to him last December when he shared a “reaction video” on his YouTube channel showing the exact moment he found out he was accepted into Harvard. The emotional video quickly went viral with over 33K views to this date. For Candelario, who was raised by his immigrant mother from Mexico and two sisters in West Lawn, Chicago, Harvard was always his dream. 

“There were a lot of tears shed because it’s a big thing for somebody like me, for the community that I come from, to get accepted to a prestigious university like Harvard. For that, I’m grateful,” Candelario told 7NewsBoston after his video went viral.

First, let’s rewatch Amado Candelario finding out he got accepted to Harvard.

Some people sacrifice so much to make sure they get into their dream school. There is nothing more exciting than watching that hard work pay off for someone who deserves it. The world collectively celebrated for Candelario when he found out he was going to be in the new class at Harvard.

Getting into Harvard was one thing but fast forward almost a year later and Candelario is getting well-deserved recognition once again. 

Credit: lovedcandle / Instagram

For this young man, getting to college was reason enough to celebrate. Candelario came from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago where going to college isn’t always the first choice for many. He sought higher education as a way to escape his circumstances and build a better future for himself and his family. Beyond just getting accepted to Harvard he also needed a way to pay for it. According to the school’s website, the total 2018-2019 cost of attending Harvard University without financial aid is $67,580 for tuition, room, board, and fees combined.

“I needed to figure out how to provide for myself and how I could give back to my mom and to my family that has done so much for me, and college seemed like the way to do that,” he told NBC News. “The only thing people ever talked about when you mentioned was how good it was and how it was the best post-secondary education you could get. I grew up in a lot of poverty and violence and I wanted something better for myself.”

His background and everything he overcame to be where he is has left a lasting impact.

Credit: @lovedcandle / Twitter

Being one of the few low-income and first-generation students from Chicago in his graduating class has made Candelario a viral star once again. Few in his class to understand the magnitude of his achievement and now the world is taking notice. 

“I’m the only kid at Harvard right now, class of 2023, that’s from Chicago and didn’t go to a selective enrollment school, a private school, a predominately affluent suburban school,” Candelario wrote in a tweet that has received more than 87,000 likes as of today. “I’m the only Chicago neighborhood school kid. It’s sad but I DID THAT and I’m proud of myself!!”

Candelario is defying statistics when it comes to Latinos getting into Harvard. He is one of only less than 16 percent of a total of 4.5 percent of accepted applicants that got into Harvard in 2019.

Credit: lovedcandle / Instagram

Getting to this point was never easy for him. Candelario attended Eric Solorio Academy High School, which was located on the Southwest Side of Chicago, a notoriously low-income area. It was there that he joined various programs that helped guide him through the college application process and was assisted with financial aid assistance. 

The transition to college hasn’t been easy as well for Candelario. At times he feels like an outsider in a school where he’s one of very few that fully understand what it means to come to be a first-generation college student. These emotions have only fueled him to finish what is expected to be the first of many steps. While Candelario hasn’t declared an official concentration just yet, he told NBC News that he’s interested in pursuing political science and economics. He hopes with his education he can one day become a lawyer and help those that come from marginalized backgrounds.

“I feel like for kids who come from marginalized backgrounds, being realistic can limit them,” Candelario told NBC News. “I feel like you have to dream big and tell your intentions to the world. All of high school, even as a freshman, I told people I wanted to go to Harvard. I put it in my Instagram bio, even though I wasn’t accepted. There’s something powerful about manifesting and verbalizing what you want and telling yourself you are capable of that.”

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