For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) announced today the winners of the John S. Martínez Leadership Scholarship. A $4,000 grant is provided for the first two years of college tuition to 11 highly deserving Latino students. This scholarship is possible thanks to the Comcast Foundation and their commitment to the Hispanic community, and now with the generous support of Honda.
“We are thrilled to announce this year’s John S. Martínez Scholarship award recipients. This year’s recipients form an impressive cadre of talented young men and women who will help solve our country’s most vexing problems in the future. Latino students are in particular need of assistance to complete their college education and we are excited to be able to play a small role in facilitating their journey to success,” NHCSL President and Pennsylvania State Representative Ángel Cruz said.
Although college enrollment for Latinos has dramatically improved – from 22% in 1993 to 35% in 2014 –Latinos still have disproportionately low college completion rates. According to the Pew Research Center, only 15% of Latinos between the ages of 25 and 29 have completed their bachelor’s degree, compared to 41% of non-Hispanic Whites of the same age group. Many experts agree that the gap between enrollment and completion in many cases is due to financial hardship, among other factors. That is why scholarship programs like NHCSL’s John S. Martinez Scholarship can make a difference in these young students’ lives.
NHCSL Executive Director Kenneth Romero-Cruz stated that: “This scholarship program would not be possible without the leadership and vision of the Comcast Foundation. For the last ten years, Comcast has sponsored the John S. Martínez Leadership Scholarship and it is thanks to their commitment that we are able to help these students obtain their degree. Honda’s generous support has allowed us to provide award recipients with help paying for their second year of college and we hope to expand the program in the future to include all four years of higher education. We cannot thank Comcast and Honda enough for their support and look forward to continue our productive collaboration.”
This year’s John S. Martínez Scholarship award winners are:
• Esperanza Ayala (Arizona) • Victoria Rusman (New Jersey)
• Yulieth Vélez (California) • Yansi Veleta (New Mexico)
• Paola Patricia Chávez (Colorado) • Jacob Matthew Fraga (Texas)
• Patricia Lynn García (Florida) • Leena Salinas (Texas)
• Noah Steven Bradely Rodrigues (Hawaii) • Jessica Lilibeth Rodriguez (Utah)
• Carlos Fernando Memije González (Nebraska)
The John S. Martinez Leadership Scholarship program is specifically designed to help Hispanic high school students achieve educational success. This program has been implemented within the 43 states and territories that have Hispanic state legislators. This effort has been implemented in collaboration with Hispanic state legislators in the states and the schools based in their respective districts. The scholarship will be provided to the student upon graduation from high school and acceptance into a higher education institution. Support for the second year is provided upon satisfactory completion of the first year.
The NHCSL is the premier national association of Hispanic state legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country. NHCSL was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 with the mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 390 Hispanic legislators. For more information visit www.nhcsl.org.