Two University of Illinois Springfield students have been awarded Victor A. and Daisy A. Juarez Latino scholarships from the Culturally Integrated Education for Latinos Organization (CIELO) in Springfield.
Linda Hernandez, a senior Criminal Justice major from Melrose Park, Ill. was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Jessica Avendano, a junior Business Administration major from Beardstown, Ill. was awarded a $500 grant.
Hernandez is a member of the UIS Women’s Soccer team, Legacy Dance Team, and Organization of Latin American Students. She is a first-generation Mexican-American college student.
“This scholarship has been such a blessing and has reminded me there are great people out there who care about students, like me, and want them to succeed,” said Hernandez. “Opportunities like this are something you can’t forget.”
Each year, CIELO awards three scholarships and one grant to students who are accepted to attend an accredited university, college, or trade school that has its main campus located in Sangamon County. CIELO members who live within 60 miles of Springfield may also apply. The group’s mission is to mission is to help central Illinois Latinos pursue their educational goals.
“I feel very grateful and lucky for winning the grant! I truly appreciate CIELO and everything they do for the Hispanic community,” said Avendano.
Applicants are evaluated based on a personal essay, references, academic achievements and perceived financial need. A student’s commitment to community service is also a major consideration.