BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The NWA Hispanic Leadership Council's (NWA HLC) Giving Circle awarded grants to local nonprofits and celebrated their contributions to the community at an event Wednesday, Dec. 8.
The event served to recognize and celebrate the work local organizations do in improving the life of Hispanics in the region's communities as well as individual philanthropy.
The recipients of awards given at the event were Rogers High School for the Newcomer Welcome Program, OneCommunity for the Parents Take Leadership Action (PTLA) Kids Program and the Hispanic Women's Organization of Arkansas (HWOA) Scholarship Program.
The Giving Circle is a group of people who pool resources in order to contribute to issues deemed important to the community.
“Giving circles offer members a forum to learn about community issues alongside like-minded individuals and become more informed philanthropists," said Gabriela Velasco, Director at the NWA HLC and Giving Circle member. “We received applications from organizations that have programs focused on education, entrepreneurship and other disciplines. It is amazing the work being done by these organizations, with such commitment and love."
This is the third year the NWA HLC Giving Circle awarded funds to local organizations and has been able to grow the awareness of the awards as more committed individuals seek to make a difference in the community.
Rogers High School was awarded a $4,000 grant to support the Newcomer Welcome Program, which is being spearheaded by Bilingual School Counselor at Rogers High School Carilia Nuñez and by Student Success Coordinator, Leo Hernandez.
“Our goal for the Newcomer Welcome Program is to provide these students and their families with a safe space to cultivate a sense of belonging and guide them through their transition into the United States education system," Nuñez. "We plan to use these funds to host small groups and events to provide our students and their families with information, resources, and support."
OneCommunity was awarded $2,000 for the PTLA Kids Program, which is part of the Springdale School District’s existing Family Literacy Program. These initiatives allow parents to invest up to 10 hours a week in their children’s school learning English, spend time in their child’s classroom and learn about community resources.
Additionally, the Hispanic Women's Organization of Arkansas was awarded $1,000 for its Scholarship program.
“Through this program, HWOA promotes higher education among the Latino community with an emphasis on first-generation college attendees," said Rebeca Soto, Development Officer at HWOA. "We hope to serve more families this coming year (2022) through FAFSA assistance days and scholarships."