The Indiana Latino Scholarship Fund (ILSF) Dinner July 19 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom raised more than $325,000 to support scholarships to help Indiana Latino students attend college.
ILSF reached this fundraising goal with support from USA Funds, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit corporation that works to enhance postsecondary education preparedness, access and success by providing and supporting financial and other valued services. USA Funds matched the first $50,000 raised and pledged an additional $50,000. Several organizations, including Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and Efroymson Family Fund announced matching gifts during the event.
The evening included special recognition for former USA Funds President and CEO Carl Dalstrom, who has supported the scholarship dinner since its inception. Dalstrom retired from USA Funds on June 30.
“While higher education certainly improves the lives of graduates, it also improves all of our lives. This means that all of us, corporations and individuals alike, benefit from investments in education, and these students. And what better way to get a return on that investment than focusing on one of the fastest growing populations in America. I therefore have been very proud to have been a part of this effort to help Latino students get into and stay in college with scholarships,” said Dalstrom.
In addition, the Indiana Latino Scholarship Fund honored Cummins Inc. This corporation was selected because of its demonstrated commitment to education and diversity. Since 2010, Cummins in coordination with the Community Education Coalition of Columbus has significantly supported the Latino Education and Outreach initiative in the Columbus area. Programs include: neighborhood outreach, summer school, events to bring the overall community together with the Latino community, and education alignment efforts from Pre-K through Post Secondary.
The 500 guests attending the dinner heard from several students who have received scholarships from ILSF. This year alone, 85 students were awarded scholarships.
U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., told the students, “I couldn’t be more proud of everything you’ve accomplished, everyone in our state, to have done so many wonderful things in school, to have achieved this opportunity. And I promise you this, when you get this education that you will continue on the road to, as you stay in school and you continue in school, that will be the key that will unlock all the dreams you have because you can accomplish anything.”
The Indiana Latino Scholarship Fund also recognized the following five Indiana state legislators for their support of expanded higher education opportunities for Indiana Latinos:
Senator Earline Rogers
Senator Jean Leising
Representative Rebecca Kubacki
Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon
Senator Carlin Yoder
In the spring of 2008, seven organizations created the Indiana Latino Scholarship Fund to support key Latino community-based organizations that already provide scholarships to Latino students. As a result, the Indiana Latino Scholarship Fund’s combined fundraising efforts and resources generated a larger pool of funds, resulting in more financial opportunities through scholarships awarded to Indiana’s top Latino students. To date, more than $1.5 million has been raised for ILSF.
The Indiana Latino Scholarship Fund nonprofit member organizations include: Central Indiana Community Foundation, Indiana Latino Institute, La Plaza, Mexican Scholarship Fund, Project Stepping Stone, Sociedad de Amigos de Colombia, and USA Funds.
“Central Indiana Community Foundation is proud to continue its support of the Latino Scholarship Fund, and to help these hard-working, determined students achieve the education they need to become more successful in life. They are an incredibly valuable resource, and we believe the entire community will benefit from this investment for many years – and many generations – to come,” said Brian Payne, President and CEO of Central Indiana Community Foundation.
According to the U.S. Census, the number of Hispanic youth under 18 years of age in Indiana doubled from 2000 to 2012. Educating this fast-growing Latino/Hispanic population is critical for the state’s economic future.
The Indiana Latino Scholarship Fund is focused on increasing college attainment among Latino/Hispanic youth to advance Indiana’s future.
To make a donation:
Checks can be made payable to "Central Indiana Community Foundation" with "Latino Scholarship Fund" in the memo line. Please mail to CICF at 615 N. Alabama Street, Suite 119, Indianapolis, IN 46204.