Perry R. Salvagne
The Latino Scholarship Fund, Inc. was founded in 1994 by a group concerned that less than 20% of Danbury High School’s Latino graduates were going on to higher education. That was the lowest percentage of any ethnic group within the graduating class. Within six months the Latino Scholarship Fund raised $10,000 and in 1996 awarded its first 10 scholarships to Danbury High School Latino graduates.
Since that time, the Latino Scholarship Fund has raised and awarded more than $900,000 in scholarship money to over 550 Latino high school graduates throughout the Greater Danbury area, including Bethel, Brookfield, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, and Ridgefield. In 2018 the board voted to expand our reach into lower Fairfield County.
Today, Danbury High School sends nearly 80% of its Latino graduates on to post-high school education and training — significantly exceeding state averages for Latinos in Connecticut.
Latino Scholarship Fund recipients have attended many of the country’s elite schools, including Yale, Purdue, MIT, Duke, Georgetown, Cornell, UConn, UMass, as well as our outstanding local schools, including Western Connecticut State University and Naugatuck Valley Community College.
The Latino Scholarship Fund has the support of many organizations and is proud of its strong affiliation with Union Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Danbury, Newtown Savings Bank, Wells Fargo, Cartus, Caldwell-Walsh, Western Connecticut Health Network, Allstate, IBM, Ventura Law, Hodge Insurance, Center for Safer Communities, Western Connecticut State University and other businesses and generous individuals who see value in helping provide for tomorrow’s workforce and future community leaders.
The Latino Scholarship Fund was recognized in 2019 with a “Best of Danbury Award” in the nonprofit category.
The Latino Scholarship Fund is operated entirely by volunteers, but is a professionally run organization that enjoys widespread community support and has a history of success. As a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization, donations to the Latino Scholarship Fund are deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
The organization raises money for scholarships through donations fundraisers, including the annual gala, Salsa Mixer, Fashion Show and other events.
The organization’s presidents include:
Peter Kalman, 1994-2007
Abner Burgos-Rodriquez, 2008-2010
Ileana Velazquez, 2011-2013
Eliette Matos, 2013-2015
Abigail Kopp, 2015-present
History of the Latino Scholarship Fund, Inc.
A dream come true...