A few first-generation students at one South Texas university will get a chance to have their tuition paid for, thanks to a scholarship fund put together by a local foundation.
The Hector and Gloria Lopez Foundation announced they will award 15 Latino first-generation students at random with a full ride scholarship to help them further their education at the Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
The students will be selected for the fall 2023 semester.
The late Hector and Gloria Lopez were a married couple and long time ranchers from Alice.
The legacy they left behind was to send first-generation Latinos to college with no financial burdens.
Their nephew and president of the foundation said the Lopez’s always talked about the importance of helping Latino individuals succeed.
“They are the future of Texas, they are our future business people, doctors and lawyers, their opportunities are boundless they just need to get that college degree to set them on their way,” Sergio Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer of The Hector and Gloria Foundation said.
This is the first time the foundation selects Texas A&M-Kingsville students for the scholarship.
“For us, this is a game changer," Texas A&M University-Kingsville President Robert Vela said. "This ensures that we get our scholars through the finish line, get them graduated, and get them into employable fields for them to begin to transform themselves for their families.”
The unique thing about this scholarship is that it doesn't require an application process.
The first-generation Latino students will be chosen at random — which means no SAT scores or minimum GPA is required.
Rodriguez said Latino students should all have an equal playing field.
“Maybe they didn’t have the same opportunity for activities that the other students had, and in our minds, they are just as worthy of a full scholarship as other students," Rodriguez said.
The foundation will award 75 students at five universities in Texas.
Vela said they expect to only grow the amount of Latino students that get this scholarship every year.