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New Latina scholarship program offered next fall

ADELANTE, a new Latina leadership scholarship program, is being offered for students starting in the fall of 2022.

The new scholarship program grew from the Diversity, Inclusion and Outreach office’s peer mentorship program. The program grants a $5,000 annual scholarship to all 40 students accepted into each cohort of the program.

“In order for us to enroll and retain students, specifically our minoritized students or students of color, they need that continuous engagement,” Executive Director of DIO Becky Rodriguez said. “So, that made us realize that we needed to look at our programming and create a program that reflected our communities.”

The Diversity, Inclusion, and Outreach office looked to the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership and received funding to evolve their mentorship program into a scholarship program. Among the benefits of this scholarship are workshops, activities and services with a focus on leadership development, financial literacy, civic engagement, self-empowerment, health and wellness and social justice, according to the ADELANTE website. The program also requires students to spend one day per month at a De Colores Series that consists of experiential learning, reflection, team building, conference presentations and book club discussions.

“I think that it’s very important that you find that sense of belonging, you start to build those connections, you start to strengthen cultural pride and you start to build mentor relationships to build [students’] success,” Rodriguez said. “[Representing Latinas] is extremely important. It’s important to support and to validate Latina students’ success, especially to ensure that students are not only recruited but they’re retained and persist to graduation.”

Qualifications for admittance into this scholarship program include strong academic merit, demonstrated leadership in schools or the community, demonstrated financial need and being an incoming first-time college undergraduate student, among others.

“This program is really an example of how we can really support students by engaging them through completion,” Rodriguez said. “There’s a foundation already, but being able to represent Latinas in a different way and be role models is key to the success and affirming that [students] can complete university.”

Applications for the scholarship will be open until April 1, 2022.

Maddie Ray can be reached via email at mray10@twu.edu.

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