The Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando (HHSFMO) announced today that it has been awarded a two-year, $1 million grant from Helios Education Foundation. The grant will support the establishment of a scholarship endowment and the development of a comprehensive strategic framework and business plan for the HHSFMO.

30 scholarship recipients were also announced today. All of the scholarship recipients are of Hispanic descent and enrolled in postsecondary institutions in Central Florida. In total, $150,000 in funds were awarded – $80K more than last year. The additional scholarships are also funded by the Helios grant, which accounts for 10 additional $5,000 scholarships per year for the next two years.

“It is indeed an honor for HSSFMO to establish a partnership with Helios Education Foundation, in support of Hispanic postsecondary education students in our region,” said HHSFMO Board Chair Adriana Comellas-Macretti. “This is a transformative opportunity that will allow us to develop a comprehensive plan to address our organizational leadership, communication, and resource development needs well into the future. Thanks to this partnership, the HHSFMO will also be able increase college enrollment and graduation rates for Hispanic students in Central Florida and provide funds to scholars for years to come.”

Helios Education Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals in Florida and Arizona to succeed in postsecondary education. Since its inception in 2004, the foundation has invested more than $142 million in education-related programs and initiatives across both states.

“Helios Education Foundation is proud to partner with the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando in providing scholarships to Hispanic students pursuing a college or university degree,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation. “Every student in Florida deserves the opportunity to complete a postsecondary degree and we are committed to helping traditionally underserved students achieve that goal.”

Linda Thompson, Helios’ Senior Vice President and Chief Impact Officer, was present to award scholarships to 10 recipients at today’s press conference.

To date, HHSFMO has awarded more than $ 950,000 to help 239 exceptional students attending local colleges and universities. This year’s scholarship recipients are:


Alessandro Abbati

Andrés Aranguibel

Richard Haddock

Karol Haugan

Katherine Moya Boquin

Nathalia Muñoz

Esperanza Pérez

Kathyeli Rivera

Katrina Rodríguez

Carla Sánchez

Nicole Bulla

Melinda Colon

Joshua Corder

Manuel Diz

Carmen Espinoza

Jashira López

Angela Martínez

Manuel Morales

Ivan Olórtegui

Nicolle Paz Mendoza

Molly Rendon

Bryan Rodríguez

Elizabeth Sabillon

Rafaela Saguia

Sara Sánchez

Diego Vázquez

Edwin Santos

Eduardo Verde


As in previous years, the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund has established generous partnerships with local organizations to provide addition scholarship. Among these are the Hispanic Bar Association, the Osceola Education Foundation, the Osceola/Kissimmee Hispanic Business Council, and Casa de Mexico. In addition, this year Rollins College and HHSFMO announced the establishment of a partnership to award one full-tuition scholarship each year to a new student entering at the Hamilton Holt School at Rollins in the fall under the Rollins Evening Emerging Leaders (REEL) Scholarship Program.

All the scholarship recipients will be honored at HHSFMO’s annual Gowns and Guayaberas Gala on October 25, 2014 at Disney Contemporary Resort.

About Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation is focused on creating opportunities for individuals to succeed in postsecondary education by advancing the academic preparedness of all students and fostering a high-expectation, college-going culture in Florida and Arizona. The foundation focuses its investments across the education continuum in three key impact areas: Early Grade Success, College and Career Readiness and Postsecondary Education Success.

As an engaged foundation, embedded in communities across both states, the foundation is contributing its leadership, expertise and financial resources to better prepare students for college and career and to compete successfully in a globally-competitive economy. Since 2006, Helios has invested more than $142 million in education-related programs and initiatives in Arizona and Florida. For more information, visit

About the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando

The Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando has become the largest non-profit organization in Central Florida dedicated to providing scholarships for Hispanic students pursuing a postsecondary degree. To date, the fund has awarded more than $800,000 to help 209 students attending local colleges and universities. For more information or to make a donation, please visit