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Monfredo: Worcester Latino Dollars For Scholars Making A Difference In Community

Sunday, May 29, 2016


“There is no greater asset in this country than an educated man or woman” … John F. Kennedy

The Worcester Latino Dollars for Scholars, Incorporated, founded in 1994  and dedicated to provide financial assistance to Latino students from Worcester as they pursue higher education opportunities  celebrated its 21st year of awarding Latino families in the Worcester Area with financial scholarships for students going on to higher education.  

Its mission is to increase access to higher education for Latino students by involving the private sector in the financial support of these students. The organization is an affiliate of the Scholarship of America Foundation, a national organization that provides technical assistance to local scholarship efforts and is the nation’s largest private sector scholarship organization.  

The group, has in twenty-one years raised more than $373,000 and awarded over 760 scholarships to area students. This year the organization awarded 32 scholarships to Latino students in pursuit of a higher education at a banquet held at the Manor restaurant in West Boylston. 

The recipients and the colleges they will be attending are as follows: 

 Abby Kelly Charter School…Isabelle Santiago… Mass College of Liberal Arts

Claremont Academy … Marizabel Alejo… Worcester State University and  Jaqueline Alvarez… College of Holy Cross

Doherty High… Ashley Palomeque … Assumption College and Doborah Gomez … Quinsigamond  Community College

North High School… Fatima Oseida … College of Holy Cross,  Lenoshka Soto…  Worcester State University and Pedro Romero… Worcester State University

South High School … Claudia Maravilla… Assumption College, Hiram Gandia… College of Holy Cross, Johnny Versas … College of Holy Cross, Kayla Hernandez… Quinsigamond Community College and Kimberly Martinez… Worcester State University 

University Park Campus … Adanicole Rivera… Salem State College, Eddie Ruiz … Framingham State University, Karen Ozuna Vargas… Bridgewater State University, and   Lucus Encarnacion Rivera… Emory University

Worcester Technical High School … Karen Silva … Quinsigamond Community College, Karla Velazquez … Becker College, Mayra Santillan … Quinsigamond Community College, Shaleisha Rivera … Quinsigamond College College, Mikyanny Marcelin Reyes … UMass Amherst, Vanessa Nina … Anna Maria College,  and Yliza Fantauzzi… Anna Maria College

College students receiving scholarships and the college that they attend are:  Alex Cobos… Bentley University,  Andre De Sousa … UMass Amherst, Christian Valencia … UMass Lowell,  Jacinthia Kallio … UMass Lowell,   Jacob Vazquez … Assumption College,  Osiris Torres … Worcester State University, Vianna Mercedes … Worcester State University.

Community Achievement awards were given to Osiris Reyes, a preacher at the Evangelical Church in Worcester for his work with his wife Maria in assisting those in need with their food pantry  and to  Dr. Matilde Castiel, Commissioner for Health and Human Services in Worcester for her dedication to the underserved and her work with assisting youth in our city.

The President of the organization, John Rodriquez  a guidance counselor at Worcester East Middle  and a wonderful community activist  thanked the graduate recipients and stated, “ You are our inspiration for the future… in quoting Helen Keller, “The best and most beautiful thing in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” He went on to say that we need to stop the violence in our schools, neighborhoods and especially in our families and unite to support the most needed and the vulnerable. He then went on to say, “ I challenge all the graduates to step up and commit themselves to a peaceful world.” 

The Masters of Ceremony for this event were Miguel Lopez and Maritza Rodriguez and the keynote speaker was Jack Marchalewicz, owner of Corporate Health and Management Programs in Northborough. Bringing greetings from the city was Mayor Joseph Petty who stated, “ By graduating from high school and making the decision to pursue higher education, you make our entire city and community proud.”

 Harvard Pilgrim was the proud sponsor of the Worcester Latino Dollars for Scholars. Other major sponsorships included Webster Five Savings Bank, The Stoddard Chariable Trust , the Fletcher Foundation and Harr Toyota.  

 The evening was a memorable event for all who attended and if you wish to donate to this wonderful cause please contact John Rodriguez at [email protected].   


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