Last month, our Founder, Shirley Acevedo Buontempo, along with two Scholar Ambassadors – Alondra (The George Washington University ’25) and Jocelyn (American University ’19) – participated in the National College Attainment Network’s (NCAN) “Hill Day” in Washington, DC. This two-day experience focused on advocacy skill-building sessions and discussions of key priorities with federal policymakers.
Our team enjoyed a panel conversation featuring two professional staff of the House and Senate education committees, Viviann Anguiano and Mary Christina Riley, as well as Lindsey Tepe, an advisor with the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Panelists offered the audience their experiences and insights on the policy process and potential opportunities for policy change.
Our Scholars also had the opportunity to meet with government officials who, through their leadership, have increased access to higher education. Some of these officials included the office of Senator Chuck Schumer, and our Westchester County district representatives Congressman Jamaal Bowman and Congressman Michael Lawler. Through their conversations, LUCA invited them to support doubling the Pell Grant, college retention, completion program grants, and FAFSA funding.
When asked why she was passionate about being an advocate for first-gen Latino students, Alondra responded, “because I’ve always grown up learning the true value of education and to use my voice. As a first-gen Latina, I want to be a mentor and advocate so other first-gen students to know that they are not alone and that they can accomplish their dreams, too.”
Thank you to our partners at NCAN for providing this incredible opportunity, sharing this knowledge, and letting our Scholars use their voices. Together, we can close equity gaps in post-secondary education, helping more students achieve their dreams and maximize their potential.