Four Seminole State students awarded Hispanic Heritage scholarships
Thursday, October 14, 2021
Written by: Mark Richardson
Photo: (L-R) Elisha Gonzalez, Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund Chair, Cecilia Viloria, Laurent Sanchez, Bob Cortes, Vice-Chair, Seminole State Board of Trustees, Leopoldo Bonet, Ruth Beatriz Morales Pelaez, Rosalina Maltby, Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund Executive Director
Four Seminole State students have been awarded scholarships from the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando.
Seminole State students Leopoldo Bonet, Ruth Beatriz Morales Pelaez, Laurent Sanchez, and Cecilia Viloria were among the 30 students recognized for their outstanding academic achievements during the annual awards ceremony held Oct. 6 at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. More than $133,500 in funds were awarded, bringing the organization’s total awards up to 403 scholarships and more than $1,900,000 granted since the scholarship fund’s inception more than 20 years ago.
“This group represents the next generation of Hispanic leaders in Central Florida, and we are proud to be investing in their education. We are thankful to our community leaders, individual donors and corporate partners who joined us to celebrate the impact these individuals who will continue to make an impact in our local economy,” said Elisha Gonzalez, scholarship fund chair and vice president of government affairs & community relations for FAIRWINDS Credit Union.
The Foundation for Seminole State College sponsored scholarships along with other local companies and organizations including Duke Energy, Boeing, AdventHealth, Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), Orlando Health, Wells Fargo, Addition Financial, Disney, Hispanic Business Council and Valencia College.
In 2014, the scholarship fund received a million-dollar grant from the Helios Education Foundation, the largest grant in its history. Part of that grant was a $750,000 endowment, which was established in the 4th quarter of 2016, intended to help the organization to pursue its mission in perpetuity.
For more information about the scholarship fund or to make a donation, please visit www.hhsfmo.org
The Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando originated with a series of activities organized by the Hispanic Heritage Celebration Committee of Orange County, an employee group whose main purpose was to plan and organize activities for Hispanic Heritage month. The first Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Gala was hosted by this group in October 2000 to raise the organization’s initial funds. To date, the organization has awarded $1.73 million in scholarships to help 350 students pursue a college education. The scholarship fund’s mission is to enhance the post-secondary educational success of Hispanic students in Central Florida. For more information about the scholarship fund or to make a donation, please visit www.hhsfmo.org.