Obtaining a higher education is not an easy task. There are the long nights of staying up to study, the difficulties of juggling school and work, and of course, the burden of paying for tuition.
According to College Board, a nonprofit organization that connects students to college success, the average cost of one year at a public university for an in-state student is $20,090. For out of state students, the average cost of one year at a public university increases to $34,220.
The high price of college tuition is why organizations like the Latin American Educational Foundation (LAEF) are so important. Founded in 1949 LAEF, which works to improve the educational, leadership and economic well beings of all Hispanics, has given out 7,000 scholarships to Colorado students. Those scholarships amount to a total of $7 million.
Jim Chavez, LAEF’s Executive Director, told La Voz that he believes that our community is a better place when we invest in young people. “The work we do here at LAEF is personal to me. I believe with all my heart that Colorado’s Hispanic and Latino students have the ability to succeed,” said Chavez. “They want to thrive and accomplish great things for themselves, their families and for their community. I feel a personal obligation to help them achieve those goals.”
According to data from the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact checking organization, just 15 percent of Hispanics between the ages of 25 to 29 years old have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The Pew Research Center says 41 percent of whites have a bachelor’s degree or higher, while 63 percent of Asians have a bachelor’s degree or higher as well. Around 22 percent of blacks have a bachelor’s degree or a higher education.
Outside of scholarships, LAEF helps residents with college planning and transition, mentoring, career planning, financial aid assistance and more.
“Colorado has such talented young students, who if given the opportunity to further their education, will ensure that we will all have a more prosperous and thriving future,” said Chavez.
To celebrate the accomplishments of those who have been impacted by LAEF, the organization is hosting its “Reaching for the Stars” gala this Saturday at the Fillmore Auditorium. The event will be a time to recognize the accomplishments of LAEF alumni and to recognize those who have contributed to LAEF over the years.
On Saturday night Oscar Munoz, the CEO of United Airlines, will be presented the Sol Trujillo National Lifetime Leadership Award. The award is presented to those in the community who have dedicated their time, energy and more to improving educational opportunities for Hispanic and Latino youth.
For more information about LAEF, visit laef.org. You can also reach the organization by calling 303-446-0541.
La Voz is a proud sponsor.