Tribute to TELACU for its Commitment to the Advancement and Empowerment of Latinos

Floor Speech

By:  Joe Baca, Sr.
Date: April 24, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, it is with great honor that I rise today and ask Congress to recognize June 8th as TELACU Scholars Day.

The TELACU Education Foundation was established by TELACU in 1983 to respond to crisis-level dropout rates for Latino Students. As the largest community and economic development corporation in the United States, TELACU is a pioneering institution committed to service, empowerment, advancement and the creation of self-sufficiency within the Latino community.

Realizing the high dropout rates for Latino students, the TELACU Education Foundation responded by investing in our youth through education to create a strong future for our country. TELACU began its efforts to reverse high dropout rates among Latino students by providing monetary support and counseling for first generation and low income students. The TELACU Scholarship Program is an exemplary program that helps students realize their dream of a college education by providing scholarships and supplemental support.

Although TELACU understands that financial assistance is a vital component for college students to achieve academic success, it also recognizes the underlying challenges many young adults face including socioeconomic factors, family responsibilities, cultural identity, and financial solvency. Students who are the first member of their families to pursue a college degree often must make their own academic support system in order to achieve their dreams. TELACU understands these challenges.

For nearly three decades, the Education Foundation has worked to remove the formidable barriers that often prevent Latino youth from achieving academic success and providing them with professional role models and academic support. The TELACU Scholarship Program provides its youth not only with monetary assistance, but with the counseling, leadership training, and time management training necessary to help students achieve their dreams.

I am proud of the way the TELACU Education Foundation has contributed to the development of our future Latino leaders. Each year, TELACU supports 500 Latino college students and 1,500 middle and high school students. In each program, 100% of the students graduate.

Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me today to honor TELACU, the TELACU Education Foundation and scholarship programs like this one, for believing in the dream of higher education for all of America's next generation of leaders. I extend my congratulations to the TELACU scholars and the people who make their dreams a reality as they celebrate the 29th Annual TELACU Education Foundation Scholarship Awards Dinner, Building the Dream, on Friday, June 8th, 2012.