Dallas-based Tricolor Foundation announced it has funded $200,000 in initial community contributions to help remove the systemic barriers preventing Hispanics from pursuing a better quality of life in America through education.
Tricolor Foundation is a nonprofit supporting initiatives in higher education, life skills, and financial literacy for underserved Hispanics.
The foundation said that Constance and Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Dallas-based Tricolor Holdings, contributed $100,000 of the total gift to launch the Tricolor Foundation’s scholarship initiative.
“Hispanics are a vital and fast-growing segment of the overall population in the United States, yet entrenched inequities continue to disadvantage them both economically and educationally,” Tricolor Foundation Executive Director Regina Montoya said in a statement.
“Our mission is to clear the path so that every member of our Hispanic communities has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Montoya added. “We’re honored to make these initial contributions in pursuit of that goal and look forward to continuing our work with other deserving organizations and individuals around the country in the year ahead.”
Included in this initial round are newly endowed scholarships for Hispanic students at community colleges that have been identified as Hispanic-Serving Institutions by the U.S. Department of Education, including Dallas College, Tarrant County College, Houston Community College, Alamo Colleges District, Maricopa Community Colleges, and the Los Angeles Community College District.
Hispanic higher ed gap
According to the foundation, Hispanics in the United States are a dominant economic force that together would be the fifth largest economy in the world if they were a country.
It said, however, that nearly 80% of Hispanics in the U.S. lack a college degree, and educational attainment for Hispanics is approximately half of the non-Hispanic population in the U.S., representing the lowest of any ethnic group.
The foundation said that the low level of Hispanic educational attainment is cause for national concern, as it threatens the strength of America’s future workforce.
So what’s behind the problem?
The foundation said that impediments facing Hispanic students stem from parents’ immigrant and socioeconomic status and their lack of knowledge about the U.S. education system. It added that many Hispanic students begin formalized schooling without the economic and social resources that many other students receive, resulting in their being unprepared to address the challenges of pursuing a college education.
Foundation Visionaries unveiled
In announcing these initial contributions, the Tricolor Foundation also unveiled its first Tricolor Foundation Visionaries — individuals who embody the work of the Foundation and that it believes serve as examples of the achievements and potential of the Hispanic community.
The 2023 Tricolor Foundation Visionaries include:
- Cristal Retana Lule, community relations officer and senior director of Government & Community Relations, Children’s Health
- Monica Lira Bravo, owner and founder, Lira Bravo Law and chair of the board of trustees, Dallas College
- Juan Carlos Cerda, Texas state director, American Business Immigration Coalition
- Dr. Carlos Cruz, associate vice chancellor for student wellbeing and social support, Dallas College
The foundation said that each Visionary is featured in a series of short video interviews available on the Tricolor Foundation website.
“Congratulations to each of our newly named 2023 Tricolor Foundation Visionaries,” Montoya said. “It’s important that members of our communities have people they can look to as role models and emulate in pursuit of their own goals and dreams. I encourage everyone to listen to the stories of these Visionaries as they each provide important perspectives and lessons for our own lives.”
‘Shaping a bright future’
The Tricolor Foundation is a nonprofit organization created to holistically support Hispanic communities and to accelerate their pursuit of a better quality of life in America.
The foundation said it’s “shaping a bright future” for Hispanic individuals and families by dismantling systemic barriers and harnessing available opportunities, enabling them to realize their full potential and contribute to the prosperity of the United States.
The foundation said its work is centered around three pillar areas of financial literacy, life skills, and higher education.
Tricolor is a U.S. Department of the Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution and a mission-driven company that leverages its direct-to-consumer, A.I.-powered platform to provide transportation and upward financial mobility solutions for underserved Hispanics in the U.S.
Tricolor said it uses advanced data analytics and technology to advance financial inclusion to a highly underserved market, offering “responsible, affordable, credit-building” auto loans to individuals with no or limited credit history.
Tricolor and its affiliate Ganas Auto Group operate 50 retail centers across 20 markets in Texas, California, Nevada, and Arizona with a shared services center in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Combined, Tricolor said it and Ganas have served nearly 100,000 customers and disbursed over $2.5 billion in affordable auto loans using their proprietary model to segment risk.
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