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Published: Tuesday, 7/16/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Diamante Awards aid Latino college students locally

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Diamante Awards Committee is seeking nominations for its annual student scholarships and awards that honor individuals and organizations for their service to the Latino community.

Herzing University-Toledo recently announced it has become the fifth Northwest Ohio institution of higher education to join the Diamante Latino Scholars Campaign, which was created in 2003 by Image of Northwest Ohio, a local Latino advocacy group. Herzing will offer three annual scholarships to help local Latino students attend college, said Kevin Milliken, community relations coordinator for Herzing University.

Also participating are Lourdes and Bowling Green State universities, Owens Community College, and the University of Toledo.

“At Herzing University, we are committed to helping students achieve their career goals,” Greg Guzman, Herzing Toledo campus president, said in a statement. “We are pleased and honored to join the Diamante Latino Scholars Campaign in partnership with four other colleges and universities.

“As a Latino myself, I find it extremely important, both personally and professionally, to help the next generation of Latino youth in the region to improve their lives,” Mr. Guzman said.

Scholarship amounts are decided by factors including the number of applicants and financial need, said Alexis DeAnda Martinez, who oversees nominations.

“We try to award as many scholarships as possible every year,” she said.

The Diamante Latino Scholars Campaign has contributed about $1 million to Latino student scholarships in the region.

The Diamante or “diamond” Awards were founded in 1989 to celebrate the profound and lasting influence that Latinos have on American history, values, and culture. The scholarship awards were added in 1993.

The number of scholarships vary by each school, how many qualified applicants there are, and how much money is available per year. The scholarship program is funded by an endowment. In addition to raising scholarship dollars at the annual awards ceremony, the five participating colleges and universities have agreed to collaborate on raising funds through a coordinated campaign and grant writing effort, officials said.

Awards are presented in the following categories: Latino/​Latina youth leadership, Latino/​Latina adult leadership, Latino/​Latina adult professional, corporation/ community agency, and friend of the Latino community.

The 2013 Diamante Awards presentation will be Sept. 13 at the Franciscan Center at Lourdes University. For more information about the awards or to nominate an individual or a group online, go to diamantetoledo.org. Nominations are open through Aug. 4.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.



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