Thank you to all our LUCES Donors for
supporting our Scholarships Fund and our Rising Stars Mentoring Program!
Joanna Cervantes- President
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 Albiter-Founder & Past-President
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. 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. In August of 2018, Pedro was recognized by Madison365 as one of the 32 Most Powerful Hispanics in Wisconsin.
Sayra M. Jayo - Vice-President
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 "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.
Gustavo Velazquez, received 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".
Daniel Hernandez is the Chief Executive Director of Prevalence Consulting and Bloomingvert LLC where he is responsible for coordinating the organization’s financial activities to fund operations. Appoint department heads and delegate their responsibilities. Analyze, direct and prepare evaluation performance, maximization of return on investments and approval of funding. Previous to that Daniel worked in Immigration Law, Bankruptcy Law, Worker’s Compensation, Business Start-Up and a Radio Broadcaster for the Latino Community in various stations such as: La Grande 104.7FM, La Movida 1480AM and WGEZ 1490AM. In addition to his active involvement to LUCES. Daniel has been Secretary of LaSup Network, Legal Liaison for COFEMEX, and Board of Directors of Community Immigration Law Clinic (CILC) and served on a various non-profit organizations in South Central Wisconsin.
Fund Development Committee
Joanna Cervantes serves as the Sunshine Place Executive Director in Sun Prairie. She started her career as a police officer to serve the community. In addition, Joanna has been recognized as one of the 32 Most Powerful Hispanics in Wisconsin by Madison365 and most recently Joanna received the Sun Prairie Action Resource Coalition (SPARC) 2018 annual Community Action Award, The Community Action Award is presented to the people who demonstrate their commitment to the community through positive action.