luz corcuera Archives | UnidosNow

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.

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.


UnidosNow’s Board Chair, Education Winner at the Unity Awards

UnidosNow’s Board of Directors Chair, Kelly Kirschner, received the Unity Award in the Education category this year, because he “sees education as the ticket to self-improvement, productivity and democracy.” Read the full article from Biz941 here.

The award was received by Executive Director, Luz Corcuera, on Tuesday, January 24th, at the Unity Awards event at Michael’s On East. Corcuera gave a heartfelt speech, having in mind all of our Future Leaders Academy Scholars:

“Education is a basic right for everyone, but it is also a responsibility that the community has to take at heart. We are all responsible for our children’s education and we must look at them as ‘our’ children.

Kelly understood this early on and during his studies at Georgetown University and his involvement with the Peace Corps, he immersed himself in the richness of the culture and the language of the people of Guatemala.  During his tenure as a Mayor of Sarasota, he realized very quickly that the Latino community was the fastest growing  group in Sarasota-Manatee and had the vision to create UnidosNow as the center to empower Latinos in Sarasota and Manatee to achieve the American Dream.

It is now up to all of us to continue promoting education in an environment that fosters love, kindness, and hope.  We celebrate the Unity Awards and the inspiring people they honor today because of their contributions to continue to make America the great country it is with its rich diversity.”

March Volunteer Meeting

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Please RSVP here

A message from Executive Director, Luz Corcuera

“Since joining the Dream Team of UnidosNow, I have been learning about the strengths of the organization. I am amazed at the number of talented and committed volunteers who share their valuable time and skills in myriad capacities.  Some work directly with students in the various settings where we engage young people, such as the high school clubs in Sarasota and Palmetto, the Future Leaders Academy, and others providing assistance at the FAFSA workshops we offer with our community partners.  And still other volunteers share their insight and expertise via UnidosNow’s several advisory boards.

While our team is mighty, it is also small, so without the invaluable support of our volunteers, we couldn’t accomplish our goal of leading low-income students and families to success.

We are committed to empowering young people who want to succeed and go to college but might not have access to other outlets or opportunities to help them do so.  While most of our clients are Hispanic, we have served Eastern European and Asian students, and we will never turn away a student who wants to participate in our programs.

We are inviting all of our volunteers to a meeting to have the opportunity to thank them and provide updates on our programs.  Please join us for our March volunteer meeting on Thursday, March 10th at 5:30 pm at the Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center, 1750 17th Street, Bldg. J-1- Loevner meeting room in Sarasota”.

Remember:

Thursday, March 10th

5:30pm

Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center

1750 17th Street, Bldg. J-1- Loevner meeting room

Sarasota, FL 34234

Please RSVP here

New Executive Director to Lead UnidosNow

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Sarasota/Manatee, FL – UnidosNow, a Bi-County organization that provides education programs and promotes civic integration for Latinos in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, welcomes Luz Corcuera as its new Executive Director.

“We are so pleased to bring Luz on board, given her exemplary abilities to bring people together and her extensive experience in community-building and engagement. With a long history, locally, of developing and implementing diverse community-based programs, Luz has a stellar reputation across both counties, where she has developed strong relationships with private, public, faith-based, and civic organizations. With her leadership, UnidosNow will continue to grow in its ability to empower Latinos to achieve their American dream.”

Ms. Corcuera has worked in the mental health, maternal-child health, and community health arenas over last two decades, most recently with the Healthy Start program and a local health department, leading prevention and education community-based initiatives, including a community needs assessment and community health improvement taskforce. “I am passionate about working with diverse communities, promoting education, health, and cultural competency”, said Ms. Corcuera. “I’m honored to have this opportunity to combine my passion and my experience, and to lead Unidos in fulfilling its goal to educate, elevate, and integrate our Latino community. We face some challenges to closing the education achievement gap, reversing negative health trends, and empowering people to civic integration. I will like to ensure we are the trusted link with the community,” she added.

As the organization welcomes Ms. Corcuera, it also thanks Hector Tejeda for his service, as UnidosNow’s immediate past Executive Director. “UnidosNow has been transformed thanks to Hector’s leadership and contributions over the last two years,” said Mr. Kirschner. Fortunately, Mr. Tejeda will continue to serve in an advisory capacity. “Hector fostered an environment that gave UnidosNow students an Ivy League, best of class experience in preparing them for college,” Mr. Kirschner added.

UnidosNow was founded in 2010 to represent the integration needs of the region’s fastest-growing and most under-represented demographic. Incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit, its goal is to elevate the quality of life of the Hispanic/Latino community through education and, in doing so, elevate the quality of life of the entire community.

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