Outstanding Accomplishments

The Latino Scholarship Awards program celebrates its 21st anniversary in a ceremony Aug. 23.


By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 22, 2013) – When some people reach the age of 21, a new sense of maturity takes over and the same can be said of the USF Latino Scholarship Awards Ceremony.

“This year marks the beginning of the program’s third decade,” noted Patsy Feliciano, director of Diversity and Inclusion who has been at the helm during the program’s second decade. She took over from Donna Parrino, now retired, who first headed it.

The program can look back on outstanding accomplishments.  It has awarded approximately $2 million in scholarship assistance to talented first generation college students. President Judy Genshaft’s Latin Community Advisory Committee, the City of Tampa’s Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council and the USF Foundation worked to raise more than $3 million in endowed funds which with the state match created a $4.7 million fund.

“We are so proud of the well over 300 students who are now USF and Latino Scholarship alumni who serve our community as professionals in fields such as education, nursing, medicine, law, engineering and accounting,” Feliciano said.

This year, 16 students from the Latino Scholarship program graduated from USF.

“Many are pursuing graduate degrees,” she pointed out with pride. “Four are pursuing graduate degrees right here at USF. One student graduated from our master’s in architecture and community design, one was admitted to the College of Medicine, another one to the master’s in rehabilitation mental health and one to the master’s in sociology programs.”

There will be 27 new students being awarded scholarships this year at the awards ceremony, bringing the total number of students currently receiving funding to 101.

Throughout the program from the beginning, each recipient has been paired with a mentor.

“They provide guidance, encouragement and networking opportunities,” Feliciano said.  “I believe that’s just as important as funding; contact with outstanding mentors has made all the difference in the success of this program through the years.

“All of us give our all to support the students in all their interests and endeavors, and that attention to detail has created life-changing opportunities not only for our students but also for their families.”

Proud family members and friends will be on hand Aug. 23, at 6 p.m. for the reception and 7 p.m. for the awards ceremony at the USF School of Music Concert Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Joseph Anastasio at (813) 974-4255.

Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.