Por La Gente, the Wisconsin nonprofit doling out scholarships for Latinos going to college for the first time
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High school graduation rates among Latino students have been on the rise in recent years.
According to data provided by The National Center For Education Statistics, the number of Latino students pursuing undergraduate degrees at college rose to 3.5 million in 2019, from 2.4 million in 2009.
As numbers continue to rise for Latino college education, there is a need to highlight the financial burden that first-generation immigrant students face.
Despite college being an ideal milestone for many families, it comes with a hefty price.
One program that is reassuring Latino students will be able to financially provide for college is Por La Gente (PLG), a nonprofit organization that raises money for Latino students accepted into college, but unsure how they will be able to afford it.
The organization has created two scholarships for graduating high school students: The Latino Athletic Scholarship and Latino Academic/Community Scholarship.
Students recently accepted into college, but struggling to find ways to afford it will be able to receive a bit of financial aid for their first year in school..
Since the organization’s founding in 1985, Por La Gente has awarded 92 PLG scholarships to Latino students.
Its mission is to encourage Latino students to go far in their academic studies.
PLG has also donated a total of $100,000 towards Latino education, including for tuition and books.
The Journal Times in Racine, Wisconsin, recently reported on the recipients for its scholarships in 2021.
The organization awarded $15,500 to nine students for each to use toward their college tuition.
One student who was rewarded $2,000 for an athletic scholarship is Diego Fuentes.
Fuentes, who is a talented athlete, was on the baseball, wrestling, and football teams in high school. He will now be attending Carthage College in Kenosha, WI.
In recent years, PLG has also organized fundraising events for the community of Racine.
One well-known event is their softball tournament.
The Por La Gente Latino Softball Invitational Tournament has been successful at getting the community involved with one another, while also raising funds for the Latino community.
PLG also hosts annual basketball, volleyball, and golf tournaments to raise money for students.
When the COVID-19 pandemic eliminated group meetings, PLG moved their in-person events to Zoom.
PLG community members may not be able to physically attend outings, they still have been able to interact with one another attending trivia tournament nights.
To be considered for the scholarship, students must be of Latino descent and live in the Racine, WI area.
Students will also be required to submit a personal essay regarding their biographical information and upbringing.
For more information on Por La Gente, please visit their website.