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A return on your LAEF donation
photo courtesy: LAEF

By La Voz Staff

Results, results, results. . . every corner of the business world looks to achieving goals or getting a return on their investment. This concept is no different when donating money to nonprofits.

The Latin American Education Foundation (LAEF) is no stranger to results. Founded in 1949, LAEF has been providing scholarships to Latino students for decades. Their widely known annual fundraiser is being held on Saturday, March 11 in the Rhino District to once again raise funds to continue scholarships in the name of education.

LAEF Executive Director Jim Chavez is getting ready for the annual LAEF Gala on March 11 said, “LAEF has a tremendous history and has helped thousands of people over the past 68 years. Our alumni have accomplished much and made a great impact on Colorado, helping to build a stronger and more prosperous Colorado. We are dedicated to continuing our efforts to prepare the next generation of young people for success.”

Prepared for success, twenty-something Marissa Molina arrived in the U.S. at the age of 9 with her parents. Originally from Chihuahua she lived in and attended public schools in Glenwood Springs as an undocumented student. She says, “Growing up undocumented, I was scared and unsure about my future.” After high school she attended Fort Lewis College in Durango and graduated in 2014, majoring in political science and economics. In 2011 Molina was a LAEF scholarship recipient. Molina adds, “For me the LAEF scholarship was really meaningful. I was paying international tuition and did not have access to in-state tuition.” Currently Molina is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Rocky Mountain Prep in charge of promoting and building family partnerships within schools.

In Molina’s current position she can address policy while continuing to make an impact in education. Molina offers, I can do my job and advocate for the undocumented community and help them live a life with dignity.”

In another time and place community leader, Nolbert Chavez was the recipient of an LAEF scholarship in the mid 80’s. Born in San Luis, CO. Chavez moved to Denver with his family at a young age. He attended the University of Colorado where he majored in political science. Chavez says, “When I received the LAEF scholarship it made me feel like my dreams were coming true.” Chavez adds, “It’s not about the scholarship amount, LAEF offers you an open door to an opportunity of education and no matter where you go, that education follows you.”
As a young student who waited to hear if the University of Colorado had accepted him, Chavez contacted a mentor for help and that individual was able to get him a welcome response. Most recently Chavez was called upon by a student for the same help and Chavez was in a position to deliver a positive response.

Chavez adds, “That experience was full circle.”

Chavez is an Associate Vice President of Community Engagement whose focus is community outreach on behalf of all University of Colorado entities. Chavez also holds the position of Chief of External Initiatives for CU/Denver whose goal is to connect with urban communities. Chavez is married to former Denver councilwoman, Judy Montero.

The 2017 LAEF Gala is all about results. Denver’s Latino community along with our overall community gather on Saturday, March 11 at the Exdo Event Center in the name of education. LAEF alumni like Marissa Molina and Nolbert Chavez are two out of hundreds of success stories.





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