future leaders academy Archives | Page 5 of 8 | UnidosNow

Daniel Paredes, Volunteer of the Month


We couldn’t be more proud of Daniel, a Future Leaders Academy scholar. As a high school junior, not only is he a stellar student, with a WGPA of 4.4 at Pine View High, but he is a community leader-in-the-making and our volunteer of the month.

Daniel directed and produced the compelling UnidosNow video for our 2016 Giving Challenge campaign, which we entered into the Best Video Contest. He is also developing the design for our organizational brochure.

Daniel, originally from Peru, will be the first in his family to go to college. He has a love of engineering, which was fostered by his father encouraging him to fix things around the house. He’s planning to study engineering at one of the universities where he’ll be applying, including Purdue University Calumet, Syracuse University, and Stanford.

Daniel also happens to love soccer and started an after-school soccer club at Pine View. We know he will go on to great things in the near future! But in the meantime, we’re lucky to have him sharing his brilliant talents with UnidosNow and his community!

Future Leaders Academy Scholars Speak to School Board of Manatee County


Several of UnidosNow’s summer program participants had a special opportunity to share their experiences and excitement about the Future Leaders Academy with the Manatee County School Board and administration at their September 13th meeting.

These talented, enthusiastic young people also announced their plans to lead the development of UnidosNow clubs at their respective high schools during the 2016-17 academic year, so that the powerful college prep information and tools they gained during the summer can be shared with other students during the school year.


Celebrating our 2016 Giving Challenge Successes


What a thrilling Giving Challenge campaign we held in September! Thanks to the generous support of our friends, family, and the community, UnidosNow raised a total of $36,440, from 166 on- and off-line donations, that will help expand our college prep and access services for talented, hardworking, first generation, low income students who want to pursue higher education.

We started out the month on an a exciting note, having been one of 20 participating nonprofits selected to receive a $200 grant for the Best 2015 Giving Challenge Story. Then, UnidosNow collaborated with several new partners for this year’s Challenge, which made it that much more energizing! Our young professional committee volunteers led the charge for us to compete in the Millennial Challenge. Juan Arcila, Kelly Rodenas, and Carolina Saavedra organized outreach to young philanthropists, including a community event at the restaurant, Mi Pueblo, which graciously hosted us and donated 10% of proceeds to support our Giving Challenge campaign. As part of our goals for the Millennial Challenge, we will recruit young, new mentors to help conduct FAFSA workshops this year.

During this year’s Challenge, UnidosNow also partnered with the Ringling, which hosted a special tour of their GraphicStudio exhibit, Collaborating Across Borders, featuring Latin American artists, in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. The UnidosNow familia, including staff, board, volunteers, and students, enjoyed the event.

Osciel and Omar Urbina, two of our dynamic Future Leaders scholars, who are part of Manatee High’s jazz band, took their group to the Giving Challenge Donor Lounge and delighted the audience with their music. You can find it in our Facebook page.

We are also extremely proud of the Giving Challenge 2016 video that our Future Leaders Academy students created! If you didn’t have a chance to view it during the Challenge, we know you will enjoy watching the short video, here.

The UnidosNow DREAM team is so deeply grateful to each of our donors who made our 2016 Giving Challenge campaign such a tremendous success! Thank you! ¡Mil Gracias!

Bayshore High School UnidosNow Club

This week, officers from the UnidosNow Club at Bayshore High School left Mrs. Platt classroom with enthusiasm and ready to bring new members to their club.

The club is a going to meet on Wednesdays from 2:15 – 3:00 in room 150. This club will promote college preparatory guidance for those that want to achieve a higher education.

Freshmen and Sophomores are encouraged to participate, where they will also go on college tours.

You Can Be The One to Students Like Tea


Congratulations to Tea Binder who was recently named a National Merit Scholar semi-finalist, which places her in the top 1% of all students in the country taking the 2015 PSAT.

Tea has participated in our Future Leaders Academy for the past two years and aspires to attend a top national university and eventually become a surgeon.

As a semi-finalist, Tea qualifies to compete for National Merit Scholarships to be awarded next spring. Good luck, Tea, we are all cheering for you!

Jo-Ann Hillman, Volunteer of the Month


As a new volunteer to the Future Leaders Academy this summer, Jo-Ann, a retired teacher, helped us achieve a new goal for the program; she developed and implemented a two-week ACT lab to help students bring up their ACT scores.

Not only did she create this new component for our curriculum, Ms. H. – as the students call Jo-Ann – also raised the money for the materials, reaching out to the William Stark Jones Foundation and the Moose Lodge, which generously supported the lab.

Jo-Ann’s passion for helping talented students succeed in their pursuit of getting into selective colleges is inspiring! She brought her positive energy and creativity to the FLA and did wonders to boost the confidence of our scholars, who loved her teaching style.

We cannot thank her – and the organizations that supported her important work – enough; we are truly grateful!

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Recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month


September 15 to October 15 marks National Hispanic Heritage Month. This is a special opportunity to recognize the contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and to celebrate our heritage and culture!

Latinos have had a profound and positive influence on our country through a strong commitment to family, faith, hard work and service. We have enhanced and shaped the national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multiethnic and multicultural customs of our community.

This year’s theme is Honoring our Heritage, Building our Future. At UnidosNow we live and breathe this mantra through our multigenerational approach to programs. We are privileged to serve talented, passionate young people – who, indeed, will be our future leaders – and to work with their parents, grandparents and siblings, as well, who bring their cultural wisdom and insight to cultivating these young leaders and to building a stronger community, overall!

UnidosNow is Engaging New Partners for the #GivingChallenge16

We are thrilled to have new partners participating in our Challenge campaign this year! Thanks to our young professional volunteer committee, we are competing in the Millennial Challenge.

Our dynamic Millennial team – Juan Arcila, with USF Sarasota-Manatee, and local attorneys Kelly Rodenas and Carolina Saavedra – are developing creative and techy ways to engage young people and encourage them to be part of this philanthropic opportunity. Here is the video they created to launch UnidosNow’s Millennial Challenge:


Stay tuned for details on the upcoming Millennial Challenge happy hour community event!

UnidosNow is also partnering with The Ringling to compete in the Giving Challenge’s Best Nonprofit Partnership contest. Both institutions value education and prioritize education programming and services as a primary part of their respective missions.

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are collaborating to elevate the visibility of the contributions of Latinos and Latino Americans to the arts and culture of the U.S. The Ringling will host two events focused on their exhibit, Collaborating Across Borders, which features Latin American artists, to which UnidosNow will bring our familia – students, parents, mentors and supporters – to celebrate.


Be the One to Inspire a Student: Be Part of the #GivingChallenge16!

Mark your calendars! UnidosNow will be part of the annual Giving Challenge, once again. We are counting on you – our friends and supporters – to help expand and enhance our programs through this 24-hour online giving event, from noon to noon on September 20 and 21.

One of the exciting aspects of the Giving Challenge this year is that all new donors (anyone who did not give to UnidosNow in 2015) will be matched two-to-one, and returning donors will be matched one-to-one, both up to $100.

This means YOU can Be The ONE to help our students DREAM BIG because your donation will have DOUBLE or TRIPLE the impact on our work and mission.

Example of how a donation to UnidosNow will be matched by The Patterson Foundation for a new donor:

GC_TPF_Matching_NewExample of how a donation to UnidosNow will be matched by The Patterson Foundation for a returning donor.



So, we hope that you will visit www.givingpartnerchallenge.org between noon and noon, September 20 to 21, enter “UnidosNow” in the search box, and donate with your credit or debit card to qualify for a matched donation. (You can also be on the look-out, via our Facebook and Twitter, for the direct link to our donation page at the start of the Challenge.)

Your contribution will enable UnidosNow to reach more students at additional schools with expanded programming opportunities, such as facilitating students’ college visits and tours.

Imagine the possibilities. Be The One to inspire a student.


The 2016 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, as well as support from Manatee Community FoundationJohn S. and James L. Knight FoundationWilliam G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.

UnidosNow Receives the Expert Communicator Award


UnidosNow has been awarded with the Expert Communicator Award from remind.com, a tool the Sarasota-Manatee based nonprofit uses to stay in touch with their students from the Future Leaders Academy, as well as anybody interested in UnidosNow’s news and updates.

After having sent 100 messages, and having tens of subscribers, remind.com sent the organization this recognition for their great communication skills.

You can also sign-up for UnidosNow’s text alerts sending @unidosnow to 81010.

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