USF's Latino Scholarship Program Event Aug. 20

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug, 8, 2008) – One of the University of South Florida's most impressive occasions is the annual Latino Scholarship Program celebration to be held Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. in USF Theatre I. As in past years, new milestones of generosity and accomplishment will highlight the event before a nearly standing-room-only audience of community leaders, local dignitaries, students and their family members, and USF administrators. The Honorable E. J. Salcines, a retired judge and former federal and state prosecutor, will be the keynote speaker.

A record $3 million was raised this year which includes three major gifts: $100,000 from the Krewe of Sant Yago Education Foundation; $100,000 from the Columbia Restaurant 'Centenario' Endowment Scholarship; and $1.25 million from the Helios Education Foundation. The first two gifts are eligible for a 50 percent match and the third is eligible for a 100 percent match from the state of Florida. The money raised is used for scholarships which are awarded to academically outstanding, bilingual, low-income students.

A total of 51 new students are joining the program this year, representing the largest cohort in the history of the program, an increase of 72.5 per cent over 2007.

"These are academically talented students who might not succeed without the financial support they receive through the program," said Patsy Feliciano, associate director for scholarship development. "The Latino Scholarship is making a difference in our community by providing students with the financial backing and the mentoring experiences they will need to succeed."

There are currently 119 students in the program representing all majors in the university. Most are the first in their families to enter college. Many are from the first generation in their families to graduate from high school.

"We already have a total of 245 alumni from this program who are making a difference in our community and all over our nation serving as role models for younger generations," said Feliciano. "We have this many because our program has grown steadily over the past 17 years and boasts a 90 percent retention and graduation rate. We owe that success to the involvement of truly caring and committed individuals who not only generously give of their financial support but also their time."

The scholarship is open to applicants university-wide. Recipients can be found majoring in pre-medicine, pre-dentistry, education, engineering, architecture, pre-law and business as well as many other disciplines. The total value of each scholarship ranges from $4,000 to $14,000 and is renewable for up to four years.

For more information about the Latino Scholarship Program visit or call (813) 974-7124.

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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