Centro Hispano of Dane County presented over $100,000 in scholarships to young scholars at the Madison College Truax on June 18 as the organization hosted its annual BECAS (Scholarship) Awards Luncheon.
Centro’s BECAS Program is based on providing equity in scholarship opportunities to students who have participated in Centro’s youth programs. The scholarships are used to help cover the cost of higher education. The BECAS Luncheon awards scholarships to high school seniors, college students, and — for the first time this year — a graduate BECAS Scholar was celebrated.
“I am honored to be the recipient of the BECA graduate award and feel blessed to receive the support of Centro Hispano,” said Karen Perez-Wilson, a Graduate School Scholar BECAS recipient. “This scholarship will allow me to focus on my studies and will help alleviate the financial burden of covering the increasingly high cost of tuition and the rising cost of living expenses.”
With the help of a generous anonymous contribution, Centro awarded a $20,000 BECAS graduate scholarship to Perez-Wilson this year and guarantees this amount until she completes her studies.
“Without their generous support and unwavering belief in me, I would be unable to complete law school,” Perez-Wilson said. “As a first-generation immigrant, Centro Hispano is not only changing my life but also the lives of my family members and those that follow us. My deepest gratitude to [Centro Executive Director] Karen Menendez Coller and my Centro Hispano family for always believing in me, encouraging me to dream big, and investing in our future.”
Four one-time scholarships of $4,500 were awarded to high school seniors including Brayan Carrera-Garcia, Elizabeth Carrillo Tapia, Nallely Gonzalez, and Yaveli Gutierrez Conteras. Seven college students, including two new awardees (Mariela Sida and Lucero Torres Manzanares), were also awarded $10,000 annually to complete their studies.
Musician Angela Puerta performed traditional and pop Latin music at the event and Folklorico Ballet de Maria Diaz performed a colorful dance.
Key sponsors of the BECAS Scholarship Program include Madison College, Quarles & Brady, American Family DreamBank, Perkins Coie Law Firm, and the City of Madison.