New York State Funding Supports LUCA’s Growth
On Wednesday, July 20th, LUCA and our New York State Senate and Assembly Representatives: Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senator Shelley B. Mayer, Assemblymember Amy Paulin, and Assemblymember Chris Burdick highlighted $350,000 funding secured in the New York State budget for program expansion in Westchester County. “We are honored to be included in the state budget and look forward to supporting even more first-generation students as they enroll and succeed in college,” said Cosette Gutierrez, Executive Director.
This generous funding will allow us to deepen our existing school partnerships at White Plains, Ossining, Sleepy Hollow, and Elmsford and expand programming into additional high Latino serving school districts throughout Westchester County, including Port Chester, Peekskill, New Rochelle, and Bedford. “At LUCA, we believe in the incredible potential and talent of Latino youth,” said Shirley Acevedo Buontempo, Founder and Strategic Growth Officer. “When we invest in Latino students, we are investing in a brighter future for them, for our communities, and for our nation.”
During the press conference, two Scholars shared heartfelt remarks about how LUCA helped them achieve their college dreams. The first Scholar was Jocelyn Nieto, a Class of 2015 Scholar and 2018 graduate of American University. “While reflecting on my academic and professional journey, I am positive that achieving my goals was thanks in great part to the unconditional support of the LUCA Familia,” Jocelyn shared. “As a first-gen student, there is an overwhelming amount of anxiety surrounding the college process and the world after graduation. Thankfully, I always had LUCA’s support.”
Attendees also heard from Kate Hidalgo, a Class of 2021 Scholar and rising sophomore at the University of Rochester. She explained, “When I was selected as a Latino U Scholar I was excited and relieved. What I didn’t realize was how much more being a Scholar would mean. LUCA understands that, when you’re first-gen, it is not only the student applying to college but the whole family.”
The entire LUCA Familia is grateful to the Senators and Assemblymembers who made this incredible funding possible. Their support will allow LUCA to enter its next phase of growth and serve even more dedicated students as they become the first in their families to attend college!
What the full Press Conference here!