BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to recognize the influence and contributions people have made for Hispanic Americans over the years.
The Hispanic Forum of Bryan College Station supports students in the community to further their education through scholarship opportunities.
Many non-profit organizations witnessed funds slip through the cracks during the pandemic.
“At the beginning of COVID all of our events were canceled, forcing us to really not be able to fundraise as much as the usual,” said Jaime Cavazos, President of the Hispanic Forum Bryan College Station.
But that would not stop their mission to give students in the Bryan College Station area an opportunity to earn a four-year degree.
“We’ve been able to go from our usual $80,000 a year to $150,000 in scholarships this year,” added Cavazos.
It began as an assignment at Texas A&M of Galveston for freshman Mark Romero but little did he realize the impact it would have on his future.
“Before the scholarship, I didn’t know how I was going to pay for college. When I was given that scholarship it was just like a big sigh of relief,” said Mark Romero, scholarship recipient.
The President of the Hispanic Forum Jaime Cavazos says he’s devoted to paying it forward.
“A lot of them are first-generation students, I myself am a first-generation student and nine years ago when I went to college it was difficult to navigate those waters,” Cavazos shared.
He’s taking his struggles and helping other first-generation students follow their dreams.
Romero is a first-generation student and he takes that title on with pride.
”It’s an indescribable feeling, it’s amazing it’s like just being able to pursue my education pursing what I want to do is insane. Ever since I was a kid I was working hard on my studies,” shared Romero.
Now, all that hard work is paying off.
“That’s why it’s really important a lot of these students are going to move on, and we’ve seen doctors come out, engineers, people going into the non-profit sector," Cavazos added. "They’re working all over the place and making our communities better."
According to the 2020 Census, the Hispanic population in Texas has grown by nearly 2 million over the past decade.
If you're interested in supporting their mission or becoming a member visit their website here.