BOISE, Idaho — On Thursday, the Idaho Latino Scholarship Foundation (ILSF) and Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC) hosted their annual luncheon to award and honor 15 Idaho students with scholarships.
“It’s to provide a platform for the students and their parents and kind of give them the support for them to move on to the next step to get further education and to bring them as leaders and give them some exposure and promote our future leadership,” said Enrique Rivera, President/CEO of IHCC.
Amaya De La Cruz recently graduated from Caldwell High School and credits her parents as an inspiration to continue her education this fall at the College of Idaho.
“My mom always urged the fact it was very important to attend college and seek higher education and that it was the one thing that that no one will be able to take away from you,” De La Cruz, who plans to study biology, said.
Daniela Aguilar Carranza from Murtaugh is a first-generation college student who is entering her second year at the University of Idaho studying International Studies, Sociology, and Spanish.
Her dedication to reach her education goals also comes from her parents' encouragement and working in the fields.
“It made me value what I have. Working out there for 10 hours in the middle of the day under the sun. It’s hard work. I get the rewards from it, and I learn to appreciate it and that takes me through college because I understand what hard work is,” Aguilar Carranza said.
Amaya and Daniela are two of the recipients who attended the luncheon.
ILSF was founded in 2008 with the effort to help students pay for their education and provide resources for students to advance in their academics.
“A good majority of our students are first-generation college students. A lot of them come from backgrounds very humble, lower-income so for them going to college is a huge accomplishment for us to lessen the burden. For me, it's very satisfying and gratifying,” said Jesus Tarifa, ILSF President.
Between 2013 and 2018, post-secondary institutions in Idaho saw a 29 percent increase in enrollment by Hispanic students. That’s according to data from the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs released earlier this year.
Tarifa said this year, a scholarship award went up to $5,000. The scholarship funds are collected through donations.
Aguilar Carranza said she's grateful to be one of the recipients this year.
“My brother is a first-generation student, too. He’s my twin brother, and we both attended college at the same and didn’t want to put that financial stress on our parents. The scholarship helps a lot,” she said.