Congratulations to ALL the 2021 High School and College Graduates! Muchas felicidades!
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, Pedro Albiter and a small group of Madison's community members formed "Club Mexiquense". This group 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 the club's 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, other South Central Wisconsin School Districts 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 LUCES 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 Albiter- Founder
Pedro Albiter is the Founder and Past-President of LUCES (Latinos United for College Education Scholarships) that started in April, 2005. Pedro started working for the State of Wisconsin, Department of Workforce Development since 2001 as an Employment & Training Specialist-Bilingual. 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. In August of 2018, Pedro was recognized by Madison365 as one of the 32 Most Powerful Hispanics in Wisconsin. Lastly, Pedro and his family were recognized by UMOS as the 2018 Hispanic Family of the Year!
Sayra M. Jayo - Vice-President & Fund Development Coordinator
Sayra M. Jayo has been on the Board of Directors since 2014 coordinating the Annual Scholarship Gala and assists with the Rising Stars Mentoring Program Workshops. She coordinates the Fund Development Committee and has been working closely with business, donors and sponsors in order to increase funding for the LUCES "Rising Stars" Mentoring Program. She currently works for the Middleton-Cross Plains School District as Registration Clerk. Sayra, Pedro and Bella (Daughter) have been recognized in 2018 as the UMOS Hispanic Family of the Year.
Please share with students, teachers, parents and potential donors.
Rocio Elvira Morejon
Scholarships & Mentoring Committee
Rocio Elvira Morejon serves as the Big Brothers Big Sisters Elementary Match Support Specialist. She was born in Chicago, Illinois and she is the first person in her family to born outside of her beloved Puerto Rico. Before working Full-time at Big Brothers Big Sisters, she was an intern at Goodman Community Center and also interning at Big Brothers Big Sisters. During her internship at Goodman, she created a curriculum for 9th grade girls that both encompassed abstinence and healthy relationship advice. Rocio's current role at the agency is to continue interviewing children with the sole focus on the Latino community, and support 71 already matched children. She is very involved in the Latino community and attend events such as El Dia de los Niños to help recruit more children. Rocio is very excited to serve in the LUCES Board of Directors!
Tera Cobb attended the University of South Dakota, where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management. After receiving her degree, Tera started her Career with Sherwin Williams as a Manager Trainee.
" I progressed through multiple roles from Assistant Manager, Manager, Sales Representative, Commercial Branch Manager, Sales Manager, City Manager, to my current role as District Manager of the Madison District. I have relocated 9 times in my 25 year career. I have been married to my husband, Eric Cobb, for 21 years and we have three amazing boys: Austin, Tucker, & Turner. We spend most of our free time supporting and coaching our boys in Football, Wrestling, and Track. We are also camping, fishing, and hunting enthusiasts. I am very active in my church, where I volunteer in the children’s ministry and I’m on the worship team too."
Marisol Gonzalez is an associate attorney with Hawks Quindel, S.C. where she practices plaintiff's side worker's compensation and personal injury law. She was born in Mexico City, Mexico, but has lived most of her life in the U.S. She graduated from Knox College in 2015 with a major in psychology and economics and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2018. Marisol was the first in her family to obtain a college education and understands the hardships that come with being the first. Because of this understanding, Marisol sought to join the LUCES Board in 2020 and hopes to be able to provide the support she lacked to Latinx students all over Wisconsin.
Fund Development & Mentoring Committee Member
Melinda Mejer- Secretary &
Mentoring Committee member
Melinda Mejer is the Director of Training & Employee Development at Heritage Credit Union where she helps develop and prepare staff to serve Credit Union members in banking services and financial education. She is a certified credit union leader and financial counselor. She has many years of experience in the financial industry which includes Consumer loan underwriter, Mortgage loan processor and Personal banker. She came to LUCES with an interest in the mentor program hoping to share her leadership experience with recent scholarship recipients. Melinda has joined our Board of Directors in January of 2021, we look forward to her assistance with the development of the mentor program for LUCES.”
Stephanie Wallom is Bank of Sun Prairie’s Vice President, Retail Market Manager and has been in the banking industry in Wisconsin for more than 24 years. She is passionate about her work in banking which gives her the ability to make real impacts on the lives of individuals, families, and small businesses in the greater Madison area. Stephanie is bilingual and fluent in Spanish, so she is driven to help the Latinx community connect to critical resources in financial services and continuing education. She and her wife, have two children in the Latinx community, and they live on the beautiful east side of Madison. Stephanie is so humbled and proud to serve as board member with the LUCES organization. She has admired what LUCES has done for youth in our community for many years and is excited to help move its mission forward.
Audra K. Wendt- Treasurer
Photo and Bio coming soon....