things that matter

Undocumented Immigrants In North Carolina Aren’t Eligible For Financial Aid, But This Woman Found A Way To Help Undocumented High School Students Who Want To Continue Their Education

This woman’s pupusa food truck raises scholarship money for un…

This woman is using her food truck to help undocumented immigrants pay for college

Posted by NowThis Her on Sunday, June 25, 2017

“We are unapologetic about who we are helping.”

If you are an undocumented student in North Carolina, affording higher education might seem like a daunting prospect. Currently, undocumented people and DACA beneficiaries are not eligible for in-state tuition in North Carolina. According to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s admissions page, the average cost for an out-of-state student to attend is around $53,100 for the 2017-2018 academic year. For reference, the estimated cost for an in-state student at the same university is about $25,876.

That’s where Cecilia Polanco and So Good Pupusas come in. So Good Pupusas was started by Polanco and her family with a mission to help undocumented people get to college and ease the cost, even if by a little bit. Polanco, who was a first-generation student at UNC at Chapel Hill and benefited from scholarships herself, wanted to help undocumented high school seniors in North Carolina afford a higher education. The scholarships offered by So Good Pupusas doesn’t cover the full cost of college but they do offer two $1,000 scholarships that can be renewed every year.

“I started thinking about my part in the larger community and about how I was blessed to have received a number of scholarships to graduate debt-free,” Polanco told Independent Weekly. She added: “Scholarships really changed my life before I even stepped foot onto the campus.”

So Good Pupusas currently offers two $1,000 scholarships for undocumented students to ease their financial burden of a higher education. Polanco hopes to eventually get those scholarships up to $8,000. The scholarships, according to the So Good Pupusas website, are exclusively for undocumented high school seniors. While the application process for the fall semester is closed, there will be a chance for undocumented students to apply for the following semester.

READ: The Days Are Numbered For These Iconic Food Trucks In The Santa Ana Area

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They Were Told If They Worked Hard, They Would Earn Money With Herbalife

things that matter

They Were Told If They Worked Hard, They Would Earn Money With Herbalife

Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YOUTUBE
Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YOUTUBE

Herbalife goes under the microscope in the documentary “Betting On Zero.”

Herbalife, which some have described as a pyramid scheme, or worse —  it’s officially called “multilevel marketing” — attracts hundreds of thousands of members each year. While it might seem like just any other annoying product your tía tries to sell you every time you talk to her on the phone, the company has a stormy, and well-known history with its Latino clients. Herbalife has been charged with targeting and exploiting Latinos with unlawfully deceptive practices (Latinos make up 80 percent of the company’s sales). Herbalife responded by promising to “provide meaningful opportunities” for Latinos. “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” highlighted the pride with which former CEO of Herbalife Michael Johnson described the company’s Latino clients: “The Latino — the blood if you will — it’s in this company and it feels great.”

“Betting on Zero” shines a light on the “great” relationship many Latinos have with Herbalife.

Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YOUTUBE

In the short trailer for “Betting On Zero,” several men, speaking in Spanish, discuss the huge sums of money they lost to the company, which says it helps “people achieve healthy, active lives.” Several people shed tears of frustration at those who took advantage of them while trying to make money using Herbalife.

“Betting On Zero,” which has a 100% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is now available for digital download.

Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films / YOUTUBE

Tell your friend about it. Tell a few friends about it. It’s not a pyramid scheme to spread awareness.

Or check the entire episode of “Last Week Tonight” for free, which discussed Herbalife and its “great” relationship with Latinos.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver / HBO

Definitely worth a watch.

READ: John Oliver Called Out Herbalife For Targeting Latinos

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