Students Awarded $40,000 in scholarships from Latino Scholarship Fund

The Latino Scholarship Fund awarded $40,000 in scholarships to 30 local students Tuesday, June 9, during a ceremony at the headquarters of the Cartus Corporation in Danbury.

Edisson Yunga of Danbury High School received the top award of $3,000 with the Tony Soegaard Memorial Scholarship. Yunga will be studying environmental science at Naugatuck Valley Community College.

Allstate Insurance, Savings Bank of Danbury and Union Savings Bank each supplied scholarships worth $3,000. Newtown Savings Bank, the Western Connecticut Health Network, Ventura, Riberio & Smith, and several individuals also provided scholarships.

Eliette Matos, the president of the LSF, noted that the fund can be successful only with support from residents and businesses in the community.

“We are lucky to live in a region that believes in education, because without the commitment of our volunteers and supporters, the LSF could not award these scholarships,” Matos said. “We will continue to work for these excellent students and we plan to grow so that even more can receive scholarships.”

The LSF was founded in 1995 by a small group of local residents concerned with the poor academic achievement of Latino students in the region, including Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding and Ridgefield.

The organization, which incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3), identifies students who have demonstrated potential, as well as searching out those whose potential has not been noticed, and offers role models and financial aid to pursue higher education.

The LSF has benefited more than 500 students with $850,000 in scholarships.

Xiomara McNab, president of the Dominican Cultural Club of Danbury and a manager at ABB Inc., an engineering and consulting company, was the keynote speaker.

In addition to Yunga, the following students won Latino Scholarship fund scholarships. They are listed here, along with the schools they will attend and their majors.

David Alvarado, of New Milford, University of Connecticut, biomedical engineering

Iliana Canela, Danbury, Western Connecticut State University, business management

Margot Cano, Danbury, Mount St. Mary College, nursing

Shayna Contreras, Danbury, New Haven University, forensic science

Yoselyn Gomez, Bethel, WCSU, political science

Tannia Guaman, WCSU, undeclared

Ray Guerrero, Danbury, UConn, physics, physiology and neurobiology

Brian Hernandez, Danbury, WCSU, graphic art and design

Lindsey Japa, Danbury, Central Connecticut State University, civil engineering

Magaly Landivar, Danbury, WCSU, business management

Angelica Lema Dutan, Danbury, WCSU, biology

Carla Quispe, Brookfield, WCSU, undeclared

Jane Macanecela, Danbury, WCSU, nursing

Wendy Macancela Panjon, Danbury, WCSU, nursing

Jennifer Maita, Danbury, UConn, accounting

Nube Marin, Danbury, NVCC, early childhood education

Matthew Martinez, New Milford, Eastern Connecticut State University, biochemistry

Edison Matute, Danbury, WCSU, justice and law administration

Susana Olivo, Danbury, WCSU, psychology

Jennifer Penaranda, Danbury, WCSU, social work

Maribel Ramirez, Danbury, WCSU, justice and law administration

Jocelyn Rodriquez, Danbury, WCSU, biology

Heidy Rosario, Danbury, Southeast University of China, marketing

Kelly Salinas-Pelaez, Danbury, Southern Connecticut State University, biology

Diana Sanchez, Danbury, ECSU, accounting

Thomas Shaker, Newtown, St. John’s University, advertising and public relations

Ailynn Suarez, Danbury, Southern Adventist University, nursing

Cindy Zhunio, Danbury, University of New Haven, international justice and security

Johanna Zhunio, New Milford, NVCC, nursing

The Latino Scholarship Fund award ceremony was also supported by CTown, Charo’s Dominican Cakes and Chicho’s Deli.