Every seat was filled at the 5th annual Formando Puentes (Building Bridges) luncheon held in Bend on October 3. Eighty community members gathered to hear an update on OCF’s Central Oregon Latino Partnership Program (COLPP) activities. Local school district superintendents, administrators and students as well as city and county government officials, business leaders and nonprofits attended.
The Central Oregon Latino Scholarship Fund, established in 2012, has awarded college scholarships to eight Central Oregon students. October's gathering honored the four 2013 recipients. OCF Leadership Council member Jaime Aguirre challenged the group to help him reach his goal of raising $25,000 for an endowment to continue providing this valuable resource.
Nate Munoz, COLPP coordinator, recognized local organizations that provide direct services to local Latino youth and families. With assistance grants from COLPP, organizations such as the Hispanic Coalition of Sisters, Kids Club of Madras, Juntos/OSU program in Jefferson County, Heart of Oregon Corp and the Latino Community Association can expand their efforts and outreach to the Latino community. Heart of Oregon Corp student Jorge Luna spoke passionately about how the YouthBuild program allowed him to finish his GED while learning valuable on the job skills.