Updated: Jan 15, 2020
Foundation, Focused on Supporting Underrepresented and Underprivileged Students, Announced Four Scholarship Winners
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A Little Hope Foundation has been renamed the Louis Hernandez Jr. Foundation For A Bright Future. The 501(c)3 not-for-profit focuses on supporting the needs of underrepresented and underprivileged students through education, healthcare, the arts and youth leadership development.
The Foundation was founded in 2011 by Louis Hernandez Jr., CEO and Founder of Black Dragon Capital, a minority-led private equity firm that makes control investments in growth companies in industries disrupted by digitization. He is also a corporate board member and author.
At the end of 2019, the Foundation awarded four scholarships to four highly deserving student applicants from around the U.S. "Through our Foundation we strive to provide equal opportunity for young people to pursue higher education and become productive contributors to our world," Hernandez said.
Kaylinn Maddox, 18, of Grovetown, GA, was awarded the Foundation For A Bright Future's Step Up Scholarship, which is given to outstanding young people from single-parent families to aid in their pursuit of higher education. She graduated from Grovetown High School and has continued her education at Spelman College in Atlanta. Her extensive community service work has included volunteering with the Family Career and Community Leaders of America, her local Gay Straight Alliance, the March for Our Lives rally and local food, school supply and toy drives.
Oluwatobi Odukoya, 18, of Bowie, MD, was awarded the Foundation For A Bright Future's Global Scholarship, which is given to outstanding young people to help advance their pursuit of higher education in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM) and sustainability. She was valedictorian at Academy of Health at Prince George's Community College and is now studying at Johns Hopkins University. She has been involved in a number of health- and science-related activities, including brain lesion research at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, tutoring at Prince George's Community College and participating in other STEM-related events and lectures. Her community service has included efforts with Home Health Aid and Mustang Mentors.
Ralph Salimbagat, 19, of National City, CA, was awarded the Foundation For A Bright Future's Semper Fi "Honor" Scholarship. It is given to military veterans and their family members pursuing higher education, in part to help them further their community service efforts. He graduated from Sweetwater Union High School and completed four years of the Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He was made Commanding Officer of his unit. His community service work has included the San Diego Blood Bank, Operation Samahan Youth Center and the National City Rotary Club. He is continuing his education at the University of California San Diego. In addition to the scholarship funds, he will receive, through the Foundation, mentoring from former Marine Sergeant Sarah M. Hernandez, who served on Marine One.
Cante Waste Win Zephier, 18, of Longmont, CO, was awarded the Foundation For A Bright Future's Dr. Emma Lerew Scholarship. It is presented to underrepresented and high-achieving young people pursuing careers in education. She graduated from Niwot High School and is continuing her education at Arizona State University. She has worked extensively within the Native American community, including presenting at the Oregon Suicide Prevention Conference and the National Indian Health Board, and she founded the Northern Colorado United National Indian Tribal Youth Council. A goal of hers is to teach as a culturally relatable educator to underprivileged Indigenous students at the high school level.
Said Dr. Emma Lerew, Executive Program Director of the Foundation, "We are honored to support these stand-out young people in their educational and public service pursuits. We are excited to see the impact they continue to make in their fields, communities and society at large."
"We were very impressed with our applicants and winners this year. It's really an honor and a pleasure to help them fund their pursuit of higher education," said Gina Rogoto, Operations Manager of the Foundation.
The Foundation For A Bright Future acknowledges and extends gratitude to the members of the awards' selection committees. They include Monica Davis-Swallow, Deborah Hernandez, Louis Hernandez Sr., Sarah Hernandez, Susie Hernandez, Dr. Emma Lerew and Gina Rogoto.
About Louis Hernandez Jr.'s Foundation For A Bright Future Formally named Louis Hernandez Jr.'s Foundation For A Bright Future (formerly A Little Hope Foundation), the 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization was created to support the needs of underrepresented and underprivileged students through education, healthcare, the arts and youth leadership development. It helps provide the tools and capabilities young people need to fulfill their life purpose and become constructive members of the global community. For more information: https://www.forabrightfuturefoundation.org or follow @FABFuture_ on Twitter and Instagram / FABFutureFoundation on Facebook .