Sunday, September 12, 2004

Community News

NCLR to Release First-Ever Survey of Health Care and Hispanic Community in the South

ATLANTA, GA - The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights organization in the U.S., will release the findings of the first multistate report to document the health care challenges, needs, and aspirations of Latinos in the South. NCLR will hold a news briefing on the report, The Health of Latino Communities in the Southern United States: Challenges and Opportunities, on Friday, September 17 at Saint Joseph's Mercy Care Services Clinic-North, 3367 Buford Highway, Suite 910, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Hispanics, the nation's largest minority and its fastest-growing population, have experienced their greatest growth in the South. The four states included in the survey - Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee - are those with the highest percentage increases during the 1990s in the number of Latino residents. Yet, despite this explosive growth, little documentation exists regarding the status of, and challenges facing, these communities, especially related to health. The report, funded by the Office of Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, surveys health care professionals and members of the community on issues such as availability of health care services, barriers to accessing health care, and treatment of Latinos by health care personnel and facilities.
Speakers at the news briefing include Janet Murguia, NCLR Executive Director; Andrea Bazán Manson, Executive Director of El Pueblo, Inc., Raleigh, NC; Andrea Cruz, Executive Director of the Southeast Georgia Communities Project, Lyons, GA; Dr. José A. Velázquez, Chief Executive Officer of Latino Memphis, Memphis, TN; Cecilia G. Galvis, Family Health Promotion Manager of Saint Joseph's Mercy Care Services; and the author of the report, Liany Elba Arroyo, Senior Program Manager, NCLR Atlanta Office.
All Content © 2004 NCLR. All Rights Reserved

Hispanic Scholarship Fund Awards $29.3 Million Nationwide to Nearly 7,500 Latino Students During 2003-2004 Academic Year

Increased Giving Highlights Organization's Impact as Census Bureau Reports a Decline in Household Income of Hispanics Nationwide

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), the nation's leading organization supporting Hispanic higher education, announced it has awarded more than $29.3 million in college scholarships during the 2003-2004 academic year, enabling nearly 7,500 Latino students in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to further their college education. HSF's award numbers are encouraging news in the face of an August 26 report from the U.S. Census Bureau showing a 2.6% decline in the median household income of Hispanics nationwide during 2003 -- the only major racial or ethnic group to show such a decline(1).
"During the past academic year, HSF has worked hard to increase the number of scholarships awarded, the number of students supported, and the number of programs developed and delivered -- all during a period when Hispanic families find themselves struggling with shrinking financial resources," said Sara Martinez Tucker, HSF president and CEO. "Because these numbers reflect an urgent need -- one that we are working to satisfy with the generous support of corporate partners, private foundations, and individual giving-we must continue to provide Latinos with the resources necessary to earn a college degree so that we can break the cycle of under-education in the Hispanic community."
The $29.3 million represents scholarships awarded through HSF's College Scholarship, High School Scholarship, Community College Transfer Scholarship and Partnership and Internship programs, as well as awards through the Gates Millennium Scholars Program and the Washington D.C.-based HSF Institute. Although the 2003-2004 numbers represent a cumulative dollar increase over the previous year, the disappointing news from the Census Bureau's August report points to the increased need for education support for Latinos as the median household incomes of Hispanic families have fallen in real terms. Hispanics already struggle with significantly lower college graduation rates than their white or African American counterparts -- only about 10% of Latinos complete their four-year degrees -- and this new data shows a diminishing capacity for families to meet rising tuition costs.
In addition to the unprecedented financial support secured for Latino students in the past academic year, HSF worked to close the education gap through innovative programming that seeks to build a pipeline of Latino students entering and graduating from college, while engaging Latino families to become advocates for their children's education.
HSF toured the country and hosted more than 66 HSF "Steps for Success" workshops, Town Hall Meetings, and other outreach events, providing more than 10,700 students and their families with the critical tools needed to help them graduate from high school and successfully navigate the college application and financial aid processes. In addition, the HSF Scholar Chapter Network has grown to 20 chapters on university campuses nationwide, providing students with access to mentors, leadership opportunities and skill-building workshops to help them stay in college and complete their degrees.
HSF's scholarship and support programs continue to rank among the most effective in the country. An independent study found that 97 percent of all students selected as HSF Scholars attain their college degrees. Almost 90 percent of HSF Scholars earn salaries above the national median income, and nearly 60 percent earn at least double the average annual income of most working Hispanic Americans.
Since its founding in 1975, HSF has continued to raise the bar on giving, and provides the Latino community with more college scholarships and educational outreach support than any other organization in the country. During the past year, HSF has partnered with more than 100 Fortune 1000 companies, gained support from more than a dozen national and regional foundations, and conducted numerous workplace giving campaigns and community fundraising events.
During its 29-year history, HSF has awarded more than 68,000 scholarships in excess of $144 million to Latinos from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have attended more than 1,700 colleges and universities.
Several of HSF's scholarship programs have begun accepting applications for the 2004-2005 academic year, with additional programs opening in September and October. Each scholarship program has a different application deadline, ranging from October 15, 2004, to January 15, 2005. Please call for more information.
(1) Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2003; issued August 2004 by the U.S. Census Bureau. See pages 3-6.
Source: Hispanic Scholarship Fund

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