When the Latin American Womens Association began offering scholarships 20 years ago, two students were each recipients of $500. But when the organization doled out its scholarships this week about $35,000 to 29 recipients it brought its total to more than half a million dollars over the lifetime of the associations scholarships.
The association provides annual $1,500 scholarships to Latino students living in the Charlotte region. Students who apply have to write an essay, show academic achievement and financial need, said Violeta Moser, LAWAs executive director.
The association formed 20 years ago, Moser said, because families here recognized a lack of financial resources for Latino students to attend college. The association was formed to promote and encourage Latino students to continue to higher education.
Scholarship money comes from large corporations based in Charlotte, she said.
Lennin Caro, 20, a junior at UNC Charlotte, has received the scholarship over the last three years, getting $1,000 each year for the first two years and $1,500 this past year.
Mostly I use it to cover books, gas and food, said Caro, of Huntersville, who commutes to school to save money. Outside of federal financial aid, the scholarship is the only money he receives to help him pay for school. He also works teaching guitar, violin and piano at a music school to help him pay for his schooling.
Its a very nice gesture, Caro said of the scholarship. It sends a strong message of the Latino community coming together and helping the younger generation.