In Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month 2019 we are featuring not just those that have inspired us historically, but people and organizations who are are making a difference today through their actions on a daily basis.

Before the La Unidad Latina Foundation came to fruition, it started out the way most success stories do: as an idea on how to help Latinos pay for college.

Not even Erik Paulino, who is the founder of the LUL Foundation, could have envisioned the success it would have since he pitched the idea to his fraternity brothers in 1999. Over the past two decades, the non-profit has doled out roughly $500,000 in scholarships. It has also helped students gain access to colleges, internships and career paths. All while positively influencing thousands of students as well.

“I’ve kept an eye on how it’s progressed, but I never thought it’d become this,” said Paulino, who was the foundation’s chairman until 2014. He was honored for his work on Wednesday Sept. 18, 2019 at the foundation’s fundraising event in Manhattan.

Before La Unidad Latina Foundation even existed there was an idea. It stemmed from a conversation that started on Cornell University’s campus in 1981. It’s when a group of Latino students who felt they lacked a sense of community decided to form one of their own. La Unidad Latina, a fraternity for Latino students, registered as a club, and officially became a fraternity in February 1982. It’s been known as La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. since and has grown into a national organization with 85 chapters.

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About The Author

James J. Parziale

James J. Parziale is an editor at MSN, professor of journalism at Hofstra University and a graduate student at Queens College. Feel free to engage him about his work, politics, sports or anything else on Twitter.

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