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The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Donors play a key role in student success, as the Latino Scholarship Program awards over $260,000 to 127 students, at the 26th Annual Latino Scholarship Awards.

Richard Gonzmart and his family have been major supporters of the University of South Florida for many years. From his contributions to the athletics program to hosting the Morsani College of Medicine’s annual Match Day, the Gonzmart family loves helping the Bulls succeed.

On Thursday, Aug. 17, the Gonzmarts had the opportunity to give to the University once more, with a major announcement at the Annual USF Latino Scholarship Awards.

Co-founded by Richard’s mother Adela, USF began the Latino Scholarship Program in 1991. The 26-year-old program gives academically gifted, but financially challenged students the opportunity for a college education.

The Gonzmart family has created scholarships for students annually since the program’s inception, and this year was no different, as Richard revealed his family’s new $200,000 gift during the event. This gift will fund ten new scholarships.

The Gonzmart family reveals the family's new $200,000 gift to the Latino Scholarship Program.

“I’m just building on the lessons my mother taught me,” Richard said.

Over two decades ago, the Gonzmart family’s donation afforded three siblings, Julio, Elsi and Maria Rodriguez, the opportunity to attend USF. At this year’s appropriately themed “Gift That Keeps on Giving” event, the siblings were inspired to give back to a program that gave so much to them by donating scholarships.

“We feel blessed and grateful to be able to help students achieve their dreams and have an impact in their lives,” said Julio Rodriguez. “We knew how much it meant to us when we were in their shoes 23 years ago.”

With a $10,000 commitment to create the Rodriguez-Nambo Scholarships, named in honor of their mother, Esther Rodriguez-Nambo, the siblings are mentoring Engineering student Mitchell Ortega and receiving an incentive match funded by the Helios Education Foundation to mentor Arts & Sciences student Dahiany Zayas-Toro.

“It is a goal and a dream come true for my family to be able to help other students realize their dreams, just like the Gonzmart family helped us realize ours,” Julio said.

Julio Rodriguez addresses the crowd at the 2017 Latino Scholarship Awards.

“Education is the gift that keeps on giving. Those early scholarship students – who had limited choices – had the world opened for them,” Richard said. “That they’re now able to give back and support new student scholarships is fantastic. We all just need to pay it forward.”

This year the USF Latino Scholarship Program awarded more than $260,000 in scholarships to 127 students. To date, the program’s 1,100 donors have awarded more than $3 million to its 457 alumni.

“The generosity of our donors is critical to helping our students realize their dreams,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft. “But, so too are the mentoring and encouragement that contribute to such impressive outcomes: currently a 95 percent retention rate and 90 percent graduation rate.”

This year's recipients are: 

Mayor's Hispanic Advisory Council Endowment                                   Antonio Abades Lescano

Adela & Cesar Gonzmart Memorial Endowment                                  Cesar Abadia

Dr. Ricardo Berrios                                                                               Omar Abadie*

Tampa Bay Latin American Medical Society Endowment                    Giancarlo Acuna-Villafane*

Sant' Yago Education Foundation/Adele S. Bernett
IMO Gilbert J Perez Endowment                                                          Alejandro Aguirre*

Sant' Yago Education Foundation Endowment - James Eyer              Michael Agustin Mateo

Tampa Bay Latin American Medical Society Endowment                    Abraham Alfonso-Abad*

Dr. Remember Maceo Gomez Memorial                                              Jose Almaraz Guerrero**

Sant' Yago Education Foundation- Simon Canasi                               Manuel Alvarez*

Unico Club of Tampa Endowment                                                        Diego Antolinez

Esperanza Salgado Memorial Endowment                                          Luis Argenal Casco

Braulio & Adelfa Alonso Endowment                                                   Daniela Avila

Dr. Andres Tobon                                                                                 Sergio Batista***

Sant' Yago Education Foundation - Bob Gomez                                 Cristian Beltran

Dr. Brandon and Virmary Rodriguez Family                                        Fany Benitez*

Columbia Restaurant (Centenario) Endowment                                   Luis Benitez*

Tampa Bay Community                                                                        Gerson Berrios*

Pan American University Women Endowment                                    Yesica Boxtha

Miriam and Soloman Wallace Endowment                                          Fatima Cabrera Portillo*

Miriam and Soloman Wallace Endowment                                          Fernando Camacho

Dominick & Emelene Aripoli Endowment                                            Raquel Cancho

Mayor's Hispanic Heritage Committee Endowment                            Danielys Cardoso*

Wilfredo and Eva Rodriguez and Family                                             Yoana Cardoso-Chavez*

Patsy and Alex Sánchez                                                                     Jennifer Carrasco

Esperanza Salgado Memorial Endowment                                         Vanesa Carreno**

Sant’ Yago Education Foundation – Dan Almendares                        Laura Carreras

Tampa Bay Community                                                                       Maria Alejandra Carrillo

Sant' Yago Education Foundation- Peter Gambacorta                       Daniel Chanelo*

Nielsen                                                                                                Yessica Chavez Grimaldo

In Honor of Raymond and Antonia Ortiz                                             Lyzmarie Irizarry Colon**

Nielsen                                                                                                Vanessa Cortes

Tampa Bay Community                                                                       Karimar De Jesus*

Sant' Yago Education Foundation Endowment - Renynold Gosselin Sarah Del Monte Villalona

Dr. Brandon and Virmary Rodriguez Family Scholarship                   Lianet Diaz***

Sant’ Yago Education Foundation – Cosme Herrera Sr.                    Yamil Diaz

Marcelino (Max) Garcia Memorial                                                      Rachel Escobio-Roche

Club 15                                                                                               Maria Camila Fernandez*

Mayor's Hispanic Heritage Committee Endowment                           Michelle Fernandez

Manuela F. Fernandez Memorial                                                        Monika Fernandez

Adela & Cesar Gonzmart Memorial Endowment                                Blanca Flores

USF Faculty/Staff Endowment                                                            Marisol Flores*

Adela & Cesar Gonzmart Endowment                                                Valerie Franco*

Wilfredo and Eva Rodriguez and Family                                             Jennifer Fuenmayor***

Tannia Peeples                                                                                   Yamicelys Fuentes Brache***

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Hispanic Advisory Council                    Marco Funez

Miriam and Soloman Wallace Endowment                                          Shelby Funk

Sant' Yago Education Foundation 
Endowment- Daniel Perez, Esq.                                                          Elizabeth Gadea*

Alejandro and Marta Cepero Memorial Endowment                            Katherine Garcia**

Sant' Yago Education Foundation
Endowment- Dr. Ramón F. Ortiz, DMD                                                Yordan Gil*

Tampa Bay Latin American Medical Society Endowment                    John Giraldo*

Dominick & Emelene Aripoli Endowment                                             Isaac Glener*

Sant' Yago Education Foundation - Dr. Luis Menendez                       Andres F.  Gomez

In Honor of Raymond and Antonia Ortiz                                              Paula Gonzalez

Mayor's Hispanic Advisory Council Endowment                                  Mellyssa Greene

Wells Fargo                                                                                          Ana Gutierrez

Mayor's Hispanic Advisory Council Endowment                                  Eneyda Gutierrez

Fred & Ana Davila                                                                                Carlos Hernandez

USF Faculty/Staff Endowment                                                             Jessie Hernandez

Sant’ Yago Education Foundation – Michael Sierra                             Claudia Hidalgo

Tampa Bay Community                                                                        Kathalia Irizarry**

Alejandro and Marta Cepero Memorial Endowment                            Ariel Jimenez

Jorge and Beverly Valiente                                                                  Valentina Jimenez**

Lolita Sauza Visot Memorial Endowment                                            Vanessa Jimenez

Tannia Peeples                                                                                    Megan Kogan*

Chirino Real Estate                                                                              Maria Larias**

Mayor's Hispanic Heritage Committee Endowment                             Nelson Larzabal Ruiz

Sant' Yago Education Foundation Endowment- Ron Garrett               Nicole Liberato*

Dr. Remember Maceo Gomez Memorial                                             Andrea Lopez

Tampa Hispanic Bar Association                                                         Deborah Martin**

Lauren Valiente                                                                                    Ashley Rodriguez Martinez

Nielsen                                                                                                Jenny Martinez**

Martin and Heidi Hernandez                                                               Nick Martinez

Dr. Ricardo Berrios                                                                             Sebastian Matzza**

Sant' Yago Education Foundation - Dr. Geneva M. Damron              Maria Mazard

Sant' Yago Education Foundation- James Luczynski                         Natalia Medina

MarkMaster Inc.                                                                                  Kimberly Mejias

Miriam and Soloman Wallace Endowment                                         Blanca Mendez*

Chirino Real Estate                                                                             Alexis Mesa

Tampa Bay Community                                                                      Andrea Mockabee Macias

Ybor Rotary- Tony Pizzo                                                                    Maria Morales Ferrebus*

Sherloq Group Inc. Endowment                                                         Jessica Nguyen

Lorena Leon Memorial Endowment                                                   Adrian Nieto Vera*

Bob and Liana Fernandez Fox                                                           Ana Mary Novo Contreras*

Rodriguez Nambo                                                                              Mitchell Ortega

Dominick & Emelene Aripoli Endowment                                           Onixa Otero

Miriam and Soloman Wallace Endowment                                         Johnathan Ozuna*

Bob and Liana Fernandez Fox                                                           Astrid Pacheco***

Sherloq Group Inc. Endowment                                                         Kianira Pacheco*

Dominick & Emelene Aripoli Endowment                                           Luis Paredes

Pan American University Women Endowment                                   Patricia Perez Hernandez

Tampa Bay Community Endowment                                                  Ibeth Perez

Francisco R. Sanchez Memorial                                                        Madeline Perez**

Francisco R. Sanchez Memorial                                                        Nestor Perez

Dr. Andres Tobon                                                                               Gabriel Perez-Pereira*

Columbia Restaurant (Centenario) Endowment                                Adriana Perez-Perez

Mayor's Hispanic Advisory Council Endowment                                Josefina Plata-Guzman*

Bright House Networks                                                                      Luisa Restrepo

Wells Fargo                                                                                       Emma Rivas**

Albert Lima Memorial                                                                         Mariela Robles

Sant' Yago Education Foundation- Roos Geradts                             Brian Rodriguez Lopez*

Tampa Bay Community Endowment                                                 Elizabeth Rodriguez*

Fred & Ana Davila                                                                             Laura V. Rodriguez**

Mayor's Hispanic Heritage Committee Endowment                          Lina Rodriguez

Martin & Alice Oliva Memorial Endowment                                       Mariam Rodriguez

MarkMaster Inc.                                                                                 Ashley Roldan*

Colombian Volunteer Ladies of Tampa Bay                                       Jennifer Romero

Tampa Bay Community                                                                      Julio Salcedo

Kurt D. Jurado/Providence C. Velasco Endowments                         Ruben Sanchez

Tampa Bay Hispanic Bar Association                                                Alexis Santoyo*

Esperanza Salgado Endowment                                                       Shyana Semprit*

Albert Lima Memorial                                                                        Stanly Soto**

Raices Cubanas                                                                                Tim Stone

Columbia Restaurant (Centenario) Endowment                                Mercedes Tatum**

Columbia Restaurant (Centenario) Endowment                                Bradley Tercero**

Martin and Heidi Hernandez                                                              Jason Torres

Tampa Bay Community                                                                      Vanessa Torres*

Jorge and Beverly Valiente                                                                Sebastian Valencia

Patsy and Alex Sánchez                                                                    Jose Vargas Castro**

Tampa Bay Community                                                                      Anders Vargas*

Sant' Yago Education Foundation - Eric Longphee                           Alejandro Vega-Clariana

Alejandro and Marta Cepero Memorial Endowment                          Matilde Velasco

Tampa Bay Community Endowment                                                  Jose Velasquez

Jose and Lourdes Valiente                                                                 Sheyla Velasquez

Sant' Yago Education Foundation - Dr. Robert Ferrera, DDS            Jorge Villegas*

Rodriguez Nambo                                                                              Dahiany Zayas-Toro**


Story and Photos by Ryan Noone, University Communications & Marketing

 

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