Blog | UnidosNow

Gocio’s Families Together Program

Photography by Karen Arango, karenarango.com

Proud parents of our Families Together program at Gocio Elementary School had their graduation ceremony. This program has been made possible thanks to the support of the 2Gen fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Gocio Elementary school students and their proud principal Mr. Royce attended the ceremony as well as Roxie Jerde, John Annis, Terri Vitale, Nelle Miller, Rick Gomez, and Rebekah Leopold of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Celebrating our Students on their Signing Day

May 25th was a very special date for our Future Leaders Academy Scholars. Families, friends, community partners, UnidosNow mentors, Board and staff gathered at Manatee Technical College to celebrate their graduation from high school and their acceptance into college. We are very proud of them and wish them success in their next adventure. It’s been a pleasure working with all, and we cannot wait to hear about all their future accomplishments.

College Tour Spring 2017

Our Future Leaders scholars and parents spent two days traveling around Florida, from college to college. On the first day, they visited Rollins College and the University of Central Florida; on the second day, they visited Eckerd College and Saint Leo University. This tour gave our students and their parents a better idea of where they would want to spend their college years.

Neil Comber shares his reflection on why he became a mentor

“As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I have long appreciated the value of a college degree. Coming from Mexico, it served me well to open doors to a successful global business career.

What is different today for students is that the application process is much more complex and competitive. When I met with Luz, I quickly signed up to be a mentor. Part of the reason was I was so impressed with the comprehensive process at UnidosNow.

In my experience, it as unmatched in its ability to help Latino students understand that college is necessary, and help them take the steps to make it a reality for them.

Once I started, I found my students to be eager and open to receiving help. For me, it was a wonderful opportunity to give advice, motivate and encourage. All of them are from immigrant families with all the attendant difficulties of living in a foreign land and having to assimilate. When I heard that each of them had been accepted to college, I felt a huge sense of pride and super excited for their futures.

I will definitely mentor again. The experience with UnidosNow has shown me that while my one-on-one coaching with my students may have only been a little ‘granito de arena’ (grain of sand) in the process, it is so important to help these young people take a very big step in their journey of success in life. Anything I can do to help in their journey is worth the time and commitment. Enhorabuena to all the students and their families who embrace this journey.”

We are grateful to Neil Comber for mentoring three students that have been successful in their college attainment. We are still in the process of recruiting new mentors. We hope you will consider mentoring a student this year. Please do contact Luz Corcuera if you feel inclined to help: luz@unidosnow.org or call (941) 840-0266.

Gabrielle Barroso, Volunteer of the Month

Our volunteer of the month is our scholar Gabrielle Barroso. She is a senior at Sarasota Military Academy and, in addition to her high school diploma, will be receiving her AA degree.

Gabrielle is an exceptional young woman and, as one of our ambassadors, has accompanied our Executive Director Luz Corcuera to community meetings and schools providing inspirational presentations to peers and community partners. She has assisted students in Sarasota and Manatee with FAFSA applications and helps the UnidosNow team with community fairs at schools and in the community.

Gabrielle is the President of the UnidosNow High School Club at Sarasota Military Academy. In addition to her academic load, she holds leadership positions with the JROTC.  She has been accepted into several universities and has decided to join the University of Florida with the goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon one day.  She is also the recipient of the Comcast Scholarship and just finished serving as a juror for the first time.

We are proud of Gabrielle’s accomplishments and grateful for her volunteer work.

Presentation at Just For Girls

Our Executive Director Luz Corcuera and our scholar Leslye Trujillo were invited to Just For Girls in Palmetto to dialogue with middle school students about opportunities and options to pursue higher education.

The students were engaged and inspired by Leslye, who is a high school senior and has set her mind and efforts to pursue a career in medicine.


Financial Aid Through FAFSA

FAFSA labs are still happening in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Last month UnidosNow assisted students and their families at Bayshore High School, North Port High, and the Boys & Girls Club.

Bayshore High School organized the last FAFSA lab for the 2017 class. Mrs. Roberts, the Career counselor, hosted the event that convened several families. Financial aid officers from theUniversity of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee and the State College of Florida,  along with UnidosNow staff and members of Bayshore High’s UnidosNow Club, helped families to fill out their FAFSA application.

This Campaign has ended. No more pledges can be made.