Application for next year opens in the spring.
By V. Finster
Twenty-five students gathered with their small children Sept.14 in the theater in McCreless Hall to celebrate their induction into the 2018 Tom Morton Sandoval LULAC Parent/Child Scholarship program.
In 1997, the League of United Latin American Citizens Council No. 2, this college’s women’s center and the Alamo Colleges Foundation, formed a partnership to create a scholarship to ensure the educational success of two generations.
The program, designed to provide support to low-income families, benefits parent scholars at this college and their families by providing students with a $1,000 scholarship awarded in $250 increments over four consecutive semesters.
Upon completion of the a certificate program, degree, or completion of transfer requirements, a two-year scholarship to any of the Alamo Colleges is promised to the child of the scholarship recipient.
Veronica Castro, distinguished graduate in criminal justice in May, spoke. She was awarded the Parent/Child scholarship in 2016.
She also graduated with an associate of arts in liberal arts.
Now a senior at UTSA, Castro is pursuing a B.A. in criminal justice with a minor in politics and law.
Castro said the scholarship empowered her to complete her education.
“I didn’t just get one degree; I got two,” she said. “That shocked me.”
The mother of three chose her daughter, Lyla Castro, 8, to receive the child scholarship.
“I know that her future is secure,” she said.
Texas state Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, also spoke at the ceremony.
“Education is the key to changing lives,” he said.
Menéndez’s father, who left his country at 37 with a fourth grade education, worked six to seven days a week during the senator’s childhood to support the family.
Menéndez said he tried to get a job in high school to help.
His father refused, saying school was his job, citing it as a key factor in an individual’s success.
“If you think about it, someone who came here as an adult, without knowing how to speak English, without any money or without any education, he knew he had to make life better for his kids,” he said.
Menéndez continued, “I may not know you personally, but I am proud of what you’re doing, not just for yourselves, but for your children. We will be a better city, state and country with your efforts.”
To date, 558 parents have received the scholarship.
Out of those students 289 parents, including 31 second-generation college students have completed the academic objective of the scholarship.
Almost 84 percent of students who have completed the program are Hispanic or African-American, and 30 percent have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
The application for next year opens in the spring.
Requirements include the student be enrolled for the fall semester at one of the Alamo Colleges for a least six semester hours, be a parent of a child 6 years or under, complete and submit a FAFSA application.
Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and 67 percent course completion rate, have earned no more than 30 college hours at the time of application and have completed a high school diploma or GED.
More information about the scholarship can be found by visiting www.alamo.edu/sac/swans or the empowerment center on campus.