giving challenge Archives | UnidosNow

The Many Gifts of Altruism

by Sandy Chase

Altruism is win-win for everyone—for those who receive a gift (beneficiary) and those who give of themselves (benefactor).  It’s like a circle that can’t be broken—each group evolving into the other.  

For example, benefactors (donors, volunteers, and sponsors) are rewarded—deriving satisfaction from knowing they have made a difference in others’ lives.  And beneficiaries (receiving money and other contributions) give back—especially to the community—when they use their newly found gifts for improvement.

The 2018 Giving Challenge, sponsored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and supported by The Patterson Foundation, the Manatee Community Foundation, the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune, exemplified that synergistic relationship for UnidosNow and Florida Studio Theatre (FST), two nonprofits that partnered to write, produce, and perform El Camino—a heart-wrenching play depicting the challenges, resilience, and dreams of Latino teens trying to live in two cultures.

The performance of El Camino at the FST. Sitting, the students who performed it, and next to them UnidosNow Executive Director Luz Corcuera and FST Associate Artist Catherine Randazzo.

As beneficiary, UnidosNow was most fortunate to work with Florida Studio Theatre (FST), under the supervision of Associate Artist Catherine Randazzo, who praises the Future Leaders Academy (FLA) for sharing personal stories.

Fifteen scholars were all-time beneficiaries because they learned so much more than playwriting, acting, and theatre.  In this safe environment, many first-generation Latino students became role models for one another, learning about common challenges and ways to overcome them—striving to turn them into dreams. 

Catherine was the ideal mentor, given her expertise and experience as a theatre educator in Manatee and Sarasota counties.  “A large number of my students were Latino, drawn to the world of theatre—a discipline they didn’t have much exposure to—so it became my mission to introduce them to its importance.  For some, it was life changing.”

Highlighting FST’s role as beneficiary, Catherine says, “I’m grateful that I could once again mentor a group of gifted Latino students.  My gratitude goes to Executive Director Luz Corcuera, the UnidosNow team, and the students who made me realize how much I don’t know about their world.  Their community-service project has changed me—for the better. That’s the POWER of theatre.”

And that power was evident when FST offered this poignant theatrical piece as a play reading to the public in May 2018.  This performance helped “enlighten the audience,” to use Catherine’s words. Attendees learned about the unique experiences of Latino students and common issues faced as teens. 

UnidosNow also helped FST promote its mission to create a public forum for the issues of our day that will foster positive change in our community and beyond—while FST helped to support UnidosNow in its efforts to empower Latinos—making a difference in this region.

Warmly, Luz remembers how an individual in the audience approached her after the show.  “He said, ‘Keep doing this amazing work,’ folding a check in my hand—a significant donation to add to the Giving Challenge goal.  He left as quickly as he came.”

UnidosNow received other donations.  FST donated the proceeds of the evening to UnidosNow, and together they received Best Community Event Award during the Giving Challenge.  The Latino organization reaped tremendous benefits from this experience.

The gifts UnidosNow gives to the community know no bounds.  Dedicated to empowering low-income, first generation Latino students and their families, it also helps fortify the community—and beyond:

  • 100% of its scholars entered college—40% to selective institutions—culminating in earning over 2.5 million dollars in scholarships and grants.
  • Many high-school and college students volunteer at UnidosNow and elsewhere.  Recently, a Princeton student interned at an Ohio nonprofit media thinkhub, and a high-schooler was chosen to spend a week at the Florida Capitol in the House Page & Messenger Program.  
  • Future Leaders Academy for Girls prepares younger students to explore different and careers, notably related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).  

Luz proudly says, “We are building the next generation of leaders through education, leadership, and community service.”

As exemplified by the 2018 Giving Challenge, benefactors and beneficiaries will evolve—for the better.  Most important, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Giving Challenge partners, continue to be the catalyst.

Cultivating talent, intelligence, and hard work for the benefit of our community and beyond, UnidosNow looks ahead to the April 2020 Giving Challenge.

Our Board Ask for Your Support During the 2018 Giving Challenge

Board Chair Kelly Kirschner

Board Member Kathy Schersten

The 2018 Giving Challenge, presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, is around the corner, and the UnidosNow Board is excited about the opportunity this event is bringing to our organization. Don’t miss Board Chair Kelly Kirschner, and Board Member Kathy Schersten, appealing messages letting you know why they are so passionate about UnidosNow and how you can impact our community by donating to our organization during this year’s Giving Challenge.

On May 1 and 2, noon to noon, you’ll have the opportunity to help our students and families continue to thrive by donating to the Giving Challenge, with each gift strengthened by The Patterson Foundation

What’s particularly exciting this year is that The Patterson Foundation will provide a 1:1 match for all unique donations—up to $100 per donor, per organization—without  a limit to the number of individual matches from unique donors (individuals with a personal credit/debit card) a nonprofit can receive during these 24 hours.

“Be the One” to support our students and families of UnidosNow.

Your donation is crucial to continue to make a difference because your contribution can help us establish the following programs in even more Sarasota and Manatee county schools. Stay tuned!

You Can Be The One to Students Like Tea

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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!

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.

The-Ringling-and-graphic-identity

We Are Almost There

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We are sure you have heard it from all the other great non profits in the area you are involved with. And we know that all of them deserve your attention, because there are so many great causes that our extremely amazing philanthropic community takes on to improve the lives of Manatee and Sarasota counties’ peoples, environment and animals.

We know you already know about the Giving Challenge 2016, and how we all want you to Be The One to take on all these different causes and make a difference.

And we also know that you are here reading this email because you care about UnidosNow, because you are aware of our impactful work with low-income students who are looking for an opportunity to continue their post-secondary studies, because you already are The One who has made a difference in their lives.

But once again we want to ask you to continue supporting our young leaders, because this is the strong impact you have already had on them. So imagine how many more students’ lives you can touch by simply supporting UnidosNow during the Giving Challenge 2016 that will happen online, from September 20th at 12pm to September 21st at 12pm.

24 hours that could mean more students served.

24 hours that could mean more high-schools reached.

24 hours that could mean more 2-gen workshops provided.

Because:

  • $25 sponsors materials for one scholar for college prep workshops
  • $50 sponsors refreshments for 1 scholar during year-long college prep activities
  • $100 sponsors a college tour for 1 scholar or a parent
  • $250 sponsors all college prep workshops for 1 scholar or a parent for one year
  • $500 supports UnidosNow’s transformational change to expand programming into elementary, middle, and additional high schools

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

This Campaign has ended. No more pledges can be made.