Congratulations to ALL the 2019 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, 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- Past President
Scholarships & Mentoring
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.
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 "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.
Scholarships & Mentoring Committee
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 Commiteee
Fund Development Committee
Cecilia Gilhouse was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She came to the United States in 2001 with her oldest son and her parents. She is a survivor of teen violence and sexual assault. Cecilia decided to come to the United States to start a new
life away from violence and in 2005, she started to volunteer and work at UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence. A year later, she became a
domestic violence bilingual advocate and provided support and services to victims in multiple counties. In 2010 she was promoted to the Executive Director of UNIDOS.
After four years as the ED, she left the organization and decided to join her husband to open an Immigration Law Firm in Madison. Cecilia continues working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault providing
services and support during their immigration process (U Visa & VAWA). In addition, Cecilia currently provides local trainings to bilingual advocates and shelters to help them better understand the current legal issues in
immigration. Finally, in her free time, she enjoys helping others and watching movies with her boys; she also loves daily short walks with her beautiful dog Halo and loves taking road trips with her husband.
Krisha Reategui- Fund Development Committee
Krisha Reategui recently graduated from UW Madison with her Masters degree in Social Work. She just started working as a case manager for Housing Initiatives which is a non profit that helps house the homeless who have serious mental health conditions. Krisha’s husband received a LUCES scholarship when he was in college and she was able to see how helpful it was to her husband to be able to finish school. Krisha and her husband have a daughter who they hope will be involved in the Latino community and someday be able to be a LUCES recipient. Krisha has wanted to be more involved in helping the Latino community for some time and is excited to now be apart of LUCES.
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!
Board of Directors
Fund Development Committee
Kym is an Investigator with the Department of Civil Rights, who investigates complaints of discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, and public accommodations. Kym is also involved in the City of Madison’s Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative, equity work, and is one of three Core Team Co-Leads.
Kym has worked for the City of Madison for approximately 22 years, and is a former Detective with the City of Madison Police Department. During her time with the City of Madison Police Department, Kym worked with Black and Latinx youth in the African American, and Latino Youth Academies.
Kym enjoys serving the community of Madison.