The Ibero American Action League will give out 86 scholarships this weekend to high school graduates, rewarding them for their hard work and resilience.
Victoria Colon, a scholarship recipient, received an acceptance letter from St. John Fisher College that will change her life forever.
“It was the only college that I applied for, and it was the only college I wanted to go to,” said Colon. “So when I got it, I was just overwhelmed and happy.”
She couldn’t wait to share her exciting news with her dad, Reynold Colon.
Victoria is a senior at Northwest College Preparatory School in Rochester. She spent the majority of her high school years helping nurse her dad back to health.
In 2012, Reynold was hospitalized with kidney stones that eventually turned into an infection.
“He was in a coma for a month and half and he became totally disabled — speech impairment, memory loss — and now you can’t even tell,” said Victoria.
Then tragedy hit the Colon family again.
Victoria’s mother Madeline died last February because of a blood clot. These stories aren’t uncommon to the Ibero American Action League.
“We have students that tell us every amount helps,” said Ibero American Action League’s Director of Development and Communications Patricia Cruz-Irving. “Every dollar a month helps so whether it’s $500, $100, or $2,000, every amount helps when you are looking at colleges.”
Victoria cherishes the father-daughter conversations they can have today, because soon her focus will shift to exploring the world of pharmacy.
“I could see the future from here,” said Victoria. “I wanna make my family happy. So I have to make sure I am happy.”
Victoria plans to graduate from St. John Fisher in four years. And she plans on paying it forward every chance she gets.
The application process will re-open in November and students will have until mid-March to submit applications.
Click here for more information on the Ibero American Action Leagu and its scholarship program.
This year’s gala will honor 86 scholarship participants on Saturday, June 17 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center starting at 5:30 pm.
The event will feature three emcees: News 8’s Maureen McGuire and Adam Chodak, and Emeterio (Pete) Otero, a retired dean from Monroe Community College, long time educator, and community advocate.