unidosnow Archives | UnidosNow

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!

Volunteer of the month, Alex Lobeto

UnidosNow is fortunate to count on passionate and committed volunteers such as Alex Lobeto, an immigrant from Cuba who is the perfect representation of a successful first-generation immigrant, and who is now giving back to his community and spending his time and experiences with our Future Leaders Academy for Girls scholars and families. Please do not miss his story here. Alex, thank you for making UnidosNow a place of hope with your contributions.

Thanks again for the opportunity to serve. As I have shared with you, I immigrated from Cuba in 1962 with my parents and older brother. Our families in Cuba were not for want. This all changed from one day to the next as we landed in Miami penniless. As I reflect back to my childhood I cannot recall a time being hungry, homeless, or without clothes. I now comprehend the dynamics of helping others and others helping themselves. From prosperous to paupers, my parents never lost their pride, family values, or work ethic.
 
My opportunities include serving with the 82nd Airborne Division in the late 70’s and serving in the Fire Service for 30 years. I went from a high school dropout to earning a Masters Degree in Public Safety Administration. I now volunteer my time and talents with UnidosNow, Sarasota and Manatee School Districts, Sarasota Literary Council, and Books for Kids (Lakewood Ranch Rotary).
 
Working with UnidosNow has provided me with an opportunity to share the life values that my parents instilled in me. From experience, I am a firm believer that a solid family creates solid members of society. UnidosNow strongly supports this foundation by involving entire families in bringing up our future generations.
 
Of utmost importance to success and happiness is one’s ability to develop personal responsibility. I have found UnidosNow strongly supports this message. Instilling this mindset in our society is, in my opinion, the most important value a person can share.
 
I would strongly urge others to participate in shaping the lives of our youths and families. To provide someone an image of personal achievement will enhance you. To me it is one way of answering the question, “what can I do to make my society better in a self-sustainable manner?”
 
“The most important gifts I have been given I cannot hold in my hand…I hold them in my heart.”

Hear Their Stories Live

Through our newsletters, social media posts, and blog posts you can get to know our students, their families, and their stories. But wouldn’t it be more special to hear it directly from them? Now you have that chance! Join us on May 1st at 6.30 p.m. at the Keating Theatre at Florida Studio Theatre to see our students share their lives with you in a stage reading, El Camino: Our Great Journey.

Reserve your seat here.

This event would be part of the 2018 Giving Challenge. Join us to celebrate this year’s Giving Challenge while getting to know the students and families you’ll be helping when donating to UnidosNow.

2018 Giving Challenge

Mark your calendars for May 1st and 2nd, when you’ll have the opportunity to help our students and families continue to thrive by donating to the Giving Challenge, presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County—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. We are asking for your support so more students and families can take advantage of our programs.

You can continue to make a difference because your contribution can help us establish the following programs in even more Sarasota and Manatee county schools:

  • Our Future Leaders Academy for Girls (FLAG), and our Future Leaders Academy for Middle Schoolers (FLAMS), which enable low-income elementary and middle-school students and their families learn about the path to higher education and develop critical skills.
  • Our Families Together Program equip parents of low-income, first generation students with the knowledge and skills for learning how to succeed in the education system in the United States by integrating indispensable life and language skills and building social capital.
  • Our Future Leaders Academy provides Manatee and Sarasota high-school seniors with the tools to successfully be admitted to college, as they pursue their academic and professional journey.
  • THE GANAS program informs and supports those students wanting to pursue technical school, a two- or four-year college, or the military. Aptly named, the translation of “ganas”is grit or desire to succeed, which is what our students embody.

On behalf of the UnidosNow students, parents, mentors, volunteers, staff, and Board, we appreciate all your support and the difference you’re making in so many people’s lives.

Please support UnidosNow during this Giving Challenge—from noon to noon on May 1st and 2nd—and help empower our students and their families. Stay tuned on May 1st at 12 p.m. when the donation link will be live to participate and donate during the 2018 Giving Challenge.

As in the past, thank you for your unselfish commitment. Together we can Be the One.

A Silent Auction for Everyone! Hispanic Heritage Celebration

UnidosNow’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration is around the corner -one week to go-, and we wanted to invite you all to check our terrific silent auction items. Everyone can find something that they’ll like! Plus, there are more to come.

If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, what are you waiting for? You can make your reservation here. We look forward to seeing you next Friday to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and our scholars and families.

Gocio’s Families Together Program

Photography by Karen Arango, karenarango.com

Proud parents of our Families Together program at Gocio Elementary School had their graduation ceremony. This program has been made possible thanks to the support of the 2Gen fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Gocio Elementary school students and their proud principal Mr. Royce attended the ceremony as well as Roxie Jerde, John Annis, Terri Vitale, Nelle Miller, Rick Gomez, and Rebekah Leopold of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Celebrating our Students on their Signing Day

May 25th was a very special date for our Future Leaders Academy Scholars. Families, friends, community partners, UnidosNow mentors, Board and staff gathered at Manatee Technical College to celebrate their graduation from high school and their acceptance into college. We are very proud of them and wish them success in their next adventure. It’s been a pleasure working with all, and we cannot wait to hear about all their future accomplishments.

Juan Arcila Joins UnidosNow Board

Since July 2016, Juan Arcila, Admissions Counselor at USF Sarasota-Manatee, has been involved with UnidosNow and the Future Leaders Academy. He is helping us with this year’s Future Leaders Summer Academy, and he was also instrumental during last year’s Giving Challenge and engaging the millennials involvement in our fundraising efforts.

Juan holds a BA in Public Health and is now pursuing his Master’s Degree in Education. He is the perfect example of UnidosNow core mission: a first-generation Latino in the United States who comes from a low-income family and is the first one in his family to go to college.

His passion and dedication to our organization and scholars is palpable in everything he has done with and for UnidosNow, and it hasn’t been unnoticed by our leadership. Kelly Kirschner, Board Chair of UnidosNow, invited Juan Arcila to join our Board of Directors last February. We now have  the benefit of his knowledge, enthusiasm, and commitment. Welcome to the team, Juan!

Gecko’s Creates a Scholarship for our Scholars

Gecko’s Hospitality Group Family of Restaurants presented a check to UnidosNow to award scholarships to four of our very deserving scholars. The owners, Mike Quillen and Mike Gowan, have established these scholarships in honor of the loyal and dedicated families that support their children to pursue higher education.

Gecko’s has been a steady supporter of UnidosNow and it is one of the first businesses that has made onsite English-Life Skills classes available for their workers and their families.

We value and appreciate their partnership and commitment to our community.

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