UnidosNow at “Padres Comprometidos”

Lisbeth Oscuvilca and Wendy Barroso attended “Padres Comprometidos” training sponsored by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) with support of  State Farm and Verizon.

This program focuses on parent engagement. We will have classes to teach parents how to acquire the skills to engage with school and how to prepare their children for college.

It shows Latino parents how language and culture could be an asset rather than an obstacle. We will be implementing “Padres Comprometidos” classes in our community. Stay alert for upcoming dates!


The SACAC Summer Program for Counselors

The Southern Association for College Admission Counseling (SACAC) summer program took place in the beautiful city of St. Augustine, where Flagler College hosted the event.

UnidosNow counselors, Lisbeth Oscuvilca and Wendy Barroso, spent three full intense training days learning best practices in college counseling. This event brought together professionals to share their experiences in counseling different types of students in private, public and charter school settings.

In addition to the 12 hours of classroom sessions, our counselors visited Flagler College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Jacksonville University, Bethune-Cookman University, University of Florida, and University of North Florida. Each school gave a lot of good, new information to our counselors that they are using to assist our students in the summer and school programs.



June’s Volunteer of the Month: Evelyn Tejeda


Congratulate our volunteer of the month Evelyn Tejeda! Evelyn mentors our students, helps with UnidosNow events, and believes in education. No task is too small or too big for our passionate volunteer of the month. . She likes to give back to the community and is mentoring three of our Rising Junior scholars in the Future Leaders Summer Academy.

Evelyn, who is, herself, a first-generation college grad, grew up in Brooklyn and became a physical therapist (PT). She worked very hard to support her spouse, Hector Tejeda, while he was working on his MBA at Harvard. They have two sons, who are very successful young men, thanks in large part to Evelyn’s and Hector’s instilling in them the value of education and supporting their pursuit of higher education.

In her role as a PT, Evelyn’s passion has been to work with the senior population, ensuring that they get the best care and learn to live a healthy lifestyle.

Evelyn brings humility, love and confidence to her volunteer work. The scholars she is working with will not only have a great mentor who will help them achieve their goals, but also a role model who embodies what community service is all about.

We are grateful and fortunate to have Evelyn by our side.

Orientation Night for Rising Juniors – Future Leaders Summer Academy

Last June 21st, we had the pleasure to meet the remarkable group of scholars who are going to be participating at UnidosNow’s Future Leaders Summer Academy – Rising Juniors. Their parents and siblings were also there, supporting their juniors to Dream Big.

We saw a room full of excited faces, ready to take on the world. This year’s class has students who want to study medicine, music, and criminal justice; who are volunteering their time in different organizations throughout our community; and who understand the importance of pursuing their dreams through post-secondary education.

FLA Summer Class of 2016, this is going to be a good summer!

We cannot wait to get to know all of you better.


Mentor Training for our FLA Summer Academy

In May, UnidosNow held its first mentor training for the Future Leaders Summer Academy. All the participants showed their excitement to start working with the talented students that will be participating at this year’s Academy. We cannot wait! Thank you to our volunteers and mentors for being there for our Future Leaders, and for all the work you will be doing to support our new classes of the FLA Summer Academy.



UnidosNow at the FCAN Summit

With the theme “Better Together”, the 2016 Florida College Access Network Summit was held at Lake Buenavista. Its goal: to keep empowering communities to work constructively together with our schools and build partnerships with universities, colleges, schools, community organizations, businesses, parents, and students.

Pumariega gave the closing remarks at the summit emphasizing that colleges, business, community leaders and community-based organizations need to work together so that college attainment and college graduation is a reality for all.

UnidosNow Executive Director, Luz Corcuera, participated in the Summit to learn about best practices to bring back to our community. Corcuera was touched by the stories she heard from first generation college students, reminding her to UnidosNow’s scholars.


First generation college students sharing their experiences at the FCAN Summit.


UnidosNow Executive Director, Luz Corcuera (left), with Madeline Pumariega (right), Chancellor of Florida Colleges.

Farewell, Catalina

A very special person from the Dream Team has ended a chapter of her life to start a new one. Cathaleen Kaiyoorawongs will be going to the University of Michigan to pursue her MBA and Masters in Education, Leadership and Policy. She continues to be a role model for the students she passionately helped and empowered all these years. Catalina, you will truly be missed. Thank you for everything you have done at UnidosNow to help us #DREAMBig‬!








Future Leaders at Palmetto High Graduate!

The FLA School Program in Palmetto High closing ceremony with the participation of family and friends was held on May 6th, 2016. The very involved Parent’s Advisory Board prepared a fundraising event before the ceremony to support college tours for next year. Congratulations to all our wondrous Future Leaders Scholars: we are very proud of all of you!

IMAG0073 IMAG0076

UnidosNow touring colleges with “First Generation” future college students

Palmetto and Sarasota High School students visited four colleges and universities of different types in Central Florida. Students visited Southeastern University, UCF, Stetson and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in a two-day whirlwind tour. Six parents came along to learn about college life and college admission process.

Students’ Quotes

“The best part of this all was going to all of these fantastic schools and really getting a visual of just how great college life is going to be . I also got to gain very much needed information that will later help me in the future.”

“I really enjoyed having some of the admission people tell us the honest truth. Also how each university had its own unique feel and personality to it. I personally loved that so much. That each college is great in it’s own way like people are but some aren’t just for me. I also really enjoyed how the universities each had their own wag of presenting.”

“The best experience I got from our 2 day field trip was the seminar explaining UCF and their programs and also hearing the college student’s testimony. It was also sharing rooms with the other UnidosNow students and getting to know each other better. ”

“The best experience I had was when we visited UCF and the students who go there talked about their experience at UCF. But the girl who talked was just like if she knew what I was going through everything she said I can relate to how she felt she wasn’t good enough to go to a college like UCF and she made me feel really confident about myself and that I can go to any school I want and be anything I can in life”.