Thank you to all our LUCES Donors for
supporting our Scholarships Fund and our Rising Stars Mentoring Program!
LUCES is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure bright futures for young Latinos in Wisconsin by providing mentoring and several merit and need-based scholarships.
On September 2005, a small group called Club Mexiquense was created to work with small issues involving our Latino community in South Central Wisconsin. It quickly became apparent that we needed an organization to empower and support our Latino students and their families in order for our student to be able to pursue their dreams of higher education. A group of community volunteers joined efforts to help and work on community events in order to provide Academic Scholarships for low-income Latino students. This group became known as Latinos United for College Education Scholarships (LUCES)
Madison Times and other local newspapers have published articles discussing the closing of the academic achievement gap for minorities, especially, Latinos and African Americans. Despite the combined efforts of policy makers, educators from the MMSD and minority community leaders to solve this issue, our students have continued to underperform and many of them do not have the opportunity or means to continue their higher education and realizing that college dream.
This is one of the many reasons that our volunteers and our Board of Directors are joining efforts to collaborate and partner with the local area school districts, Madison College, UW-Madison and Edgewood College. This collaboration will help provide educational opportunities to our Latino students.
LUCES continues to work hard to provide scholarships to help pay a partial tuition and help our students achieve their dreams to have a better and brighter future, for them, their families and our Wisconsin community. This is a win-win for everyone. Let us work together to make a difference and support LUCES’ efforts by donating and volunteering.
Pedro R Albiter
President & Founder
Pedro Albiter is the founder and current President of LUCES (Latinos United for College Education Scholarships) since April, 2005. Pedro started working for the State of Wisconsin, Department of Workforce Development since 2001 as an Employment & Training Specialist-Bilingual. During this time, he has worked with employers and job seekers and has coordinated the MSFW Outreach Program for South Central Wisconsin. He was promoted to Migrant Labor Inspector for the Southern part of Wisconsin in 2015.
Pedro holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Secondary Education-Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Elementary Education from the State of Mexico. In 2012, Pedro was recognized as Man of the Year by the UMOS organization for helping the Latino community.Pedro has also served in many other Nonprofit organizations and Wisconsin government agencies.
Jennifer Roblero - Treasurer
Jennifer Roblero is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She is majoring in Public Policy and Administration and she was honored to be one of the recipients of the LUCES scholarships in 2015. Jennifer was invited back to the Gala in 2016 and volunteered to work the raffle station in the 2016 and 2017. Jennifer has also attended some of the LUCES Mentorship Workshops that were provided in 2016 and 2017. Other than volunteering with LUCES, she has done community service in high school through a program called College Club, in 2013 she helped TDS raised over $30,000 through their annual golf fundraiser. In her senior year at Verona Area high school, she was recognized as the student of the month by the Rotary Club of Fitchburg-Verona, they also provided her with a scholarship towards her college education. Another accomplishment is that she has had the opportunity to travel to Europe and studied in France for a week. She had an outstanding experience! We are proud to have Jennifer on board as our new LUCES Treasurer!
Fund Development Coordinator
Sayra Jayo - Fund Development/ Annual Gala Coordinator.
Sayra has been on the Board of Directors since 2014 coordinating the Annual Scholarship Gala and assist with the Rising Stars mentoring program workshops. She has been working closely with business and sponsors in order to increase funding for the "Rising Stars" Mentoring Program and Scholarship. She currently works for the Middleton-Cross Plains School District as Registration Clerk.
Melissa was born in Lima, Perú and lived there until my family immigrated to Madison when I was 13 years old. Her experiences, both positive and negative, navigating the school system in the U.S. inspired her to become a teacher. Because of these experiences, she made it her personal and professional goal to support students and families navigate the school system all the way through to high school graduation and onto higher education. In order to do so, she earned my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Spanish at UW-Madison and then went on to Edgewood College to complete a Masters in Education along with a Dual Language Immersion certificate, Bilingual license and ESL license. For six years, she worked at Midvale Elementary as a kindergarten Dual Language Immersion teacher and now works for the Madison School District in the Office of Multilingual and Global Education as a Dual Language Immersion Planner. Melissa is the LUCES Scholarships Coordinator.
Cynthia Bell Jimenez
Cynthia was born and raised in Costa Rica. Currently she lives in Sun Prairie with her husband and children. She is a mother of two daughters who are ten and six years old. Cynthia has worked with academic and diversity issues for a period of 13 years. She is a scholar with master’s degrees in education, psychology and leadership. Cynthia currently works as a Planning Principal in Sun Prairie Area School District. She previously worked as Dual Language Teacher Leader and Coach at Waukesha and Delavan Darien School District.
LUCES Brochure- Please share with students, teachers, parents and potential donors.
Counselor & Mentoring Program
Jennifer Schultz is in her 13th year as a school counselor in Verona Area School District and first year as a Luces board member. She holds a Masters of Counseling and is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). During her time in Verona, Jennifer has worked to transform communication methods between school personnel and the Spanish speaking parent community. Her focus has been on minimizing obstacles that impact student achievement through collaboration with parents. By moving away from traditional school communication and towards parent engagement in an equity framework, parents and school work as a team to better support the students' aspirations and educational outcomes. Working with LUCES is a natural fit given their work to minimize obstacles students face in attending college.
My name is Gustavo Velazquez, I received the LUCES scholarship for the fall semester of 2014. Since then I have greatly advanced in both my educational and professional career. In the Summer of 2014, Gustavo Graduated from the Associates Degree in Biotechnology program, from Madison College. Driven to pursue more education, Gustavo entered the Stem Cell Technologies Certificate program at Madison College. Then in the spring of 2014, Gustavo transferred to UWGB to complete a bachelor’s Degree. In the winter of 2016 Gustavo received his bachelor’s Degree in Applied studies and minored in Human Development. Then in the fall of 2017, Gustavo entered a Biotechnology Master’s Degree program through the University of Maryland. In terms of career development, Currently he works at WiCell Research Institute,a stem cell company, as a Research Specialist- Cytogenetics.