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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.

Riverview High School Special FLA Celebration

UnidosNow and Riverview High celebrate the acceptance of eight students into the 2017 Future Leaders Academy, three juniors and five sophomores. They were among approximately 50 talented students selected from throughout the region.

Thanks to the support of the United Way Suncoast, UnidosNow is able to provide college prep and FAFSA assistance to students at Riverview High.

We thank Deb Piner, college counselor, and the administration for their partnership and support.

From left to right.  Santiago Uribe, Ruby Vila (ESOL coordinator), Hector Tejeda (UnidosNow), Alexis Cejas Carbonell, Jonathan Bruzon, Bridget Coughlin (Guidance Counselor, UnidosNow mentor), Gabriella Hernandez, Nick Sanchez, Alex Celas, Angela Rodriguez, Beth Sheets (IB Advisor), Allison Zavala, and Wendy Barroso (UnidosNow).

Welcome New Scholars

UnidosNow would like to welcome students accepted into the 2017 Future Leaders Academy. There were a record number of applicants this year, making it very challenging to make final selections. Accepted students came from many different backgrounds but had one thing in common, an intense desire to challenge themselves and go to the best college possible.

We are particularly proud of the diversity of high schools represented by this year’s class, with virtually every high school in the region being represented.  Thanks to the many schools and community partners who assisted in identifying these students and encouraging them to apply; the lives of these students are about to be transformed, and we couldn’t have done it without our collaborators.

Reaching Higher

Our Future Leaders Academy students are making us prouder and prouder every day.

  • Jorge Serrano, a senior at Palmetto High School has received the Army ROTC Scholarship. This scholarship will cover all his college costs, from his freshman year through graduation. He wants to pursue a career in the medical field.
  • Jorge Hernandez accompanied our Executive Director to give a presentation to the Manatee Community Foundation Manatee Matches Circle and impressed the donors with his story. Hernandez was given a scholarship of $1,000 from an anonymous donor and also received a laptop donated by a generous donor to send him to college on his way to becoming a veterinarian.

  • Ten fortunate UnidosNow scholars were provided a scholarship to attend ACT preparation classes at USF-Sarasota Manatee. We are grateful to the William Stark  Foundation and Jo-Ann Hillman for their generous support.

  • More college acceptances for our students:

Diamante Luna: Agnes Scott College, Stephens College.

Karen Cruz: University of South Florida.

Freddy Orjuela: University of Central Florida, Wheaton College.

Lorenzo Dubrocq: University of Miami, Rochester Institute of Technology, Lehigh University, Boston University, Colgate University.

Laura Orjuela: University of Colorado Boulder, University of Central Florida, Florida State University.




The Good News Keeps Coming: More Scholars Receive their College Acceptances

The closer we get to graduation, the more college acceptances our scholars are receiving. We continue feeling enormously proud of them, and we know they wouldn’t have come this far without the passionate support of all their mentors. Congratulations, FLA graduates, and thank you, mentors!









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