EVA LONGORIA PARTNERS WITH WELLS FARGO TO ANNOUNCE COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM AIMED AT FIRST-GENERATION LATINA STUDENTS
FIFTY L.A.U.S.D STUDENTS TO BE RECOGNIZED AT EVENT
The Eva Longoria Foundation and Wells Fargo, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Foundation and GEAR UP 4 LA will present 50 first-generation Latina students with collegiate scholarships. The scholarship recipients represent a mix of college freshmen and incoming college students, whom are all former Los Angeles Unified School District GEAR UP 4 LA program students.
“At Wells Fargo giving back to our community is a top priority,” said Michael Ormonde, Senior Vice President, Region Bank President Los Angeles Region, Wells Fargo. “As a first-generation college student myself, I know first-hand the obstacles that many students face. I am glad that we could help these students in our community.”
David Rattray, Executive Vice President of the Center for Education Excellence & Talent Development at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce said, “The Chamber has a long history of working to ensure college access for all L.A. area youth, and this partnership is a great example of that work. We are proud to partner with GEAR UP 4 LA and join the Eva Longoria Foundation and Wells Fargo in helping students receive the money they need to be able to go to college. This program and these partnerships build on the future success of the Los Angeles economy and its community.”
“I was lucky enough to get a solid education. I took out loans to pay for college and worked in a mechanic shop, a fast food restaurant and taught aerobics to make ends meet,” said award-winning actor and philanthropist Eva Longoria. “But many Latinas don’t have that opportunity because of insurmountable economic barriers. These young women are doing the hard work of continuing their education. Through our Latina Scholarship Program, we’re supporting them on that journey.”
“I can’t express how grateful I am to have had [this] scholarship as a safety net,” said student Erika Richie (Santa Monica College). “Had I not, I would have been forced to wait until the winter semester [to start classes] and set myself back five months.”
Approximately 30-40% of first-generation college students either do not show up on the first day of college or drop out during the first semester. Paying for upfront college costs, before financial aid is awarded, is challenging for most students who come from low-income households. Recognizing that these costs can pose a financial barrier that keeps many first-generation Latina students from applying, enrolling and persisting in college, the Eva Longoria Foundation, in partnership with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Foundation and GEAR UP 4 LA, established its Latina Scholarship Program in 2017 to provide 40 incoming college freshmen with $1,000 scholarships to pay for costs associated with college admission like housing deposits, registration fees, travel for Campus Orientation and participation in Summer Bridge programs.
In 2018, Wells Fargo partnered with the Eva Longoria Foundation to expand the program to award 13 new Latina students with scholarships upon high school graduation, while continuing financial support for existing scholars to encourage persistence into their second year of college.
Eligible students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 units or more) in a two-year or four-year accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher. In addition to the many upfront costs students face between academic semesters, the scholarship funds may also be used to cover expenses like tuition, course textbooks, materials, and housing costs.
ABOUT EVA LONGORIA FOUNDATION
The Eva Longoria Foundation was established in 2012 by actress, activist and philanthropist Eva Longoria. Recognizing that Latinas are a rapidly growing group that lives disproportionately in poverty, the Eva Longoria Foundation’s mission is to help Latinas build better futures for themselves and their families through education and entrepreneurship. By providing Latinas with the resources to succeed in school and business, the foundation works to improve their lives, empower their communities and shape the national conversation about leveling the playing field for minority girls and women. Visit and donate to the Eva Longoria Foundation online at www.EvaLongoriaFoundation.org (@EvaLongoriaFoundation)
ABOUT WELLS FARGO
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,200 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.
ABOUT LOS ANGELES AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOUNDATION
Established in 1970, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to improving cradle-to-career education and workforce development programming, policies and systems change in Los Angeles, so that all youth – especially the underserved – are prepared for college and career.
ABOUT GEAR UP 4 LA
GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federally funded program that works to address challenges faced by the low income, first-generation, minority students who make up almost 50% of today’s college population. GEAR UP 4 LA (GU4LA) serves 6500 students at school sites in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Our unique cohort model follows the same group of students and parents from middle school into the first year of college, preparing students to succeed and persist in college by significantly increasing access to college readiness resources.