Paulino, who joined the fraternity at the University of Pennsylvania, took it a step further with the LUL Foundation. Its mission is to create a community of socially conscious college-graduates dedicated to the advancement of the Latino community nationwide. However, he stresses anyone who is in need is welcome.

The La Unidad Latina Foundation Scholarship is a national scholarship open to all United States residents, including DREAMers and recent immigrants. Students are eligible if they are applying to four-year colleges and universities as well as graduate programs and have a 2.8 GPA or higher.

“We wanted it to be well rounded, not just about academic standing. What was your need, but also, what was your commitment to your community?” said Paulino.

While college preparation isn’t easy for anyone, Latino students face unique challenges. Many come from immigrant families where cultural and language barriers can impede college readiness. Current chairman Julio Casadao said that part of the Foundation’s goal is to “break silos for students.” LUL Foundation estimates that roughly 74% of Latino students cut short their college education due to financial pressures.

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About The Author

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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