Who We Are  

Access to opportunities that meet their potential

About Us

Latino U College Access is a nonprofit organization that transforms lives by making college dreams a reality for low-income, first-generation, Latino youth. Our mission is to empower students on their journeys to and through college so they can fulfill their remarkable potential.

We guide students, who have demonstrated academic aptitude, through individualized coaching and culturally relevant programming to ensure they enroll in schools that meet their financial and academic needs.

LUCA was founded in 2012 by Shirley Acevedo Buontempo to address the inequity first-generation Latino students face while pursuing their college dreams. Shirley experienced the transformative power of education firsthand. Born in Puerto Rico, she moved to the Bronx when she was ten. After navigating the school system and learning English, Shirley was the first in her family to graduate from college.

Our Team

Board of Directors

Shirley Acevedo Buontempo
Founder, LUCA

Lisa M. Bell – Treasurer
US Bank

Patricia Bogoya-Bravo
PepsiCo

Shawn Edwards – Vice Chairman
Bloomberg LP

Cosette Gutierrez
Executive Director, LUCA

Christine Louvet
Louvet Consulting

Jane Matluck – Secretary
Community Volunteer

Miguel M. Mendez
Morgan Stanley

Stephen Moroney – Chairman
TD Bank

Rafael Pérez 
Consumer Reports

Aldo J. Polak
Mizuho Securities

Clara Román
Houlihan Lawrence

Jonathan Schwartz
Former Chief Legal Officer

Matthew Searles
Merritt Healthcare Advisors

Scott Silverstein
Mojo

Rodrigo Trelles Zabala
UBS O’Connor

Dalia Hernández Valdés
Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s