Putting the Unity in Community

Published: June 24, 2016

A true community effort is helping a special group of students achieve their dreams of going to college. Thanks to generous contributions from the Mexican Consulate in Boise and matching funds from the Wells Fargo Foundation, seven Hispanic students received scholarships this past year through the College of Western Idaho (CWI) Foundation. Five of those students were recently honored at a luncheon sponsored by CWI and the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

One-by-one the students stepped up to the microphone and expressed their gratitude for receiving the financial support. While each recipient told a different story, they all have one thing in common. As Mexico natives, none of them qualify for federal financial aid.

“It feels so great when people say, ‘Hey, I’ve got your back. I believe in your dreams’,” Libna Luevanos, a Biology-Healthcare student, told the crowd. Luevanos, whose ultimate life goal is to become a doctor, works two jobs to pay for college.

Hispanic students at CWI currently make up 22 percent of the College’s student population. More than half are credit/degree-seeking students. The remaining students are enrolled in the College’s Basic Skills Education program; learning English as a Second Language and other college prep and life skills.

Students honored at the luncheon are all seeking degrees. They are studying to become accountants, educators, radiologists, doctors, and law enforcement experts. All are first generation students and, thanks to these scholarships, they are all debt free.

“Wells Fargo is proud to support CWI’s Hispanic student scholarship and mentoring program again this year,” Molly Lenty, the Vice President of Wells Fargo Idaho Region Community Relations, said. “We realize the importance that a strong support system provides to first generation, low-to-moderate income, and minority students who are pursuing their college and career goals.”

Wells Fargo contributed $10,000 to help fund CWI’s Hispanic Student Initiative.

“Education is the top priority focus area in which Wells Fargo funds across the state,” Lenty said. “We commend the work that CWI is doing to make college accessible and successful for students of all backgrounds.”

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