LUCA Awarded $60,000 “Project Innovation” Challenge

LUCA Awarded $60,000 “Project Innovation” Challenge

WHITE PLAINS, NY – (May 19, 2021) – Latino U College Access (LUCA) was recognized by NBC 4 New York/WNBC, Telemundo 47/WNJU, and the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation today as one of eight Tri-State winners of the annual Project Innovation grant challenge. Awarded for its Latino U Scholars college access and success programming, Latino U College Access will receive $60,000. Winning organizations feature programs that are addressing local community issues through innovative solutions in the areas of community engagement, culture of inclusion, next generation storytelling, and youth education and empowerment. This is the fourth consecutive year that NBC 4 New York and Telemundo 47 along with the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation are recognizing Tri-State local nonprofits with Project Innovation grants.

“We are honored to receive this award and truly grateful to NBC 4 New York, Telemundo 47, and the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation,” said Shirley Acevedo Buontempo, Founder and CEO of Latino U College Access. “We envision a world where educational equity and opportunity are accessible to all. A college education transforms the lives of students and their families. With this remarkable support from the Project Innovation grant, we will continue investing in the success and diversity of our next generation of college graduates.”

Project Innovation is presented by the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and NBC and Telemundo owned stations located in 11 markets, including New York. The stations held community panels to review grant applications and select the final grant recipients. This year, the program funding increased in each participating market to $315,000 and to $3.475 million across the 11 markets.

“Our Project Innovation grant challenge winners have used a number of unique approaches to create new opportunities and achieve success. Their commitment to diversity and focus on service has also inspired positive change across the Tri-State. We are excited to support their good works and cannot wait to watch them grow and thrive in the years to come,” said Eric Lerner, President and General Manager of NBC 4 New York.

“Each of our awardees have an admirable record of success. They are educators and job creators who have inspired our youth and strengthened so many local families – particularly in the communities that Telemundo 47 serves throughout the Tri-State area,” said Cristina Schwarz, President and General Manager of Telemundo 47.

The Latino U Scholars program supports low-income, first-generation Latino students – who have demonstrated academic achievement – on their journeys to and through college completion. LUCA’s rigorous, family-centered, culturally relevant approach is the only one addressing the unique issues Latino students face. With the support of dedicated community volunteers, Latino U Scholars enroll in best-fit universities that meet their academic and financial needs, ensuring they graduate on time and career-ready with little to no debt.

About Latino U College Access

Founded in 2012, Latino U College Access (LUCA) is a social impact organization that transforms lives by making college dreams a reality for low-income, first-generation, Latino youth. LUCA guides students, who have demonstrated academic ability, through individualized coaching and culturally relevant programming as they navigate higher education to successfully enroll in schools that meet their financial and academic needs, enabling them to graduate on time and career-ready. To learn more about LUCA or to make a donation in support of its mission, please visit

About NBC 4 New York / WNBC
NBC 4 New York / WNBC is the flagship station of the NBC Owned Television Stations division of NBCUniversal, serving the New York Tri-State area for more than 75 years and featuring Alfred I. duPont-Columbia, Edward R. Murrow and Emmy® Award-winning journalists who are among the most accomplished in their field.

The station includes the NBC 4 I-Team, New York’s largest televised investigative reporting unit, Better Get Baquero which has recovered more than $9 million for Tri-State consumers and Storm Team 4, certified by WeatheRate for delivering the Tri-State’s most accurate local weather forecast using cutting-edge technology such as Storm Tracker 4, a high-frequency S-Band dual polarization fixed Doppler weather radar. NBC 4 New York’s digital platforms are also among the most read and watched in the New York market and include the NBC 4 App, dedicated Roku and Apple TV channels along with unique, out-of-home viewing in local taxis. For more information about NBC 4 New York, visit

About Telemundo 47 New York / WNJU
Telemundo 47 / WNJU is NBCUniversal Local’s Telemundo station with more than 50 years of service to the Spanish-speaking communities of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Featuring Emmy® Award-winning journalists and offering more than 27 hours of locally-produced programming each week, the station includes the New York market’s only team of bilingual meteorologists, La Autoridad en El Tiempo who are certified by WeatheRate for delivering the Tri-State’s most accurate Spanish-language television forecast. Their Telemundo Responde investigative unit has recovered more than $2 million to date, with Telemundo 47’s public affairs program Enfoque Nueva York shining a weekly spotlight on the policy issues and local concerns most important to viewers.

Telemundo 47 provides news and information across all platforms, including the Telemundo 47 App, dedicated Roku and Apple TV channels, and across social media. The Tri-State’s Spanish-language broadcasting channel for soccer, Telemundo 47 will offer exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the 2022 and 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup™ tournaments and the 2025 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournament. For more information about Telemundo 47, visit

About Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation
The Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation works to advance initiatives at the cross-section of societal needs and Comcast NBCUniversal’s priorities. The Foundation supports programs and organizations that strive to move communities forward. NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast Corporation.