For the Dream

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

By: Ashmar Mandou

In an effort to help Latino students afford college tuition, Coca-Cola, once again partnered with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund for the 35th consecutive year to make the dreams of hundreds of students across the country come true. As part of the For The Dream program, Coca-Cola is donating $150,000 to aide qualified students applying to the program. For Maria Acosta, receiving the scholarship afforded her son David Acosta the opportunity to continue his education and apply to the universities of his dream. Maria Acosta spoke with Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper about her experience with For The Dream program and why parents should apply. For students interested in applying to the scholarship program, visit for further information. Students have until March 30th, 2016 to apply.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper: Year after year, Coca-Cola helps out thousands of Latino students across the country head to college with For The Dream Program.  What is it like for you to see a program help so many students, including your son David Acosta?

Maria Acosta: I feel so blessed that not only my son, but other young students have benefitted from the Coca-Cola scholarship program and that they are able to eliminate the economic barrier that prevents them from receiving a higher education. I am so grateful towards For The Dream program because they allowed us to have hope that our children will have a brighter future.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

As a mother going through the college process with her child, can you share how difficult it can be, at times to search for financial aid?

As a mother of a Hispanic child who went through the process of applying to universities, I felt totally oblivious and lost; I didn’t know where to begin. With the help of God, my son has always reached and pushed to learn more in all of his classes. When it was time to search for financial help, we, as parents, were totally worried for the future of our son. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to pay for this studies. My husband and I had to figure out ways to help put our son through college, so it was a struggle. When we received the news that David received Coca-Cola’s For The Dream scholarship, it completely changed our lives.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

What would you like other parents to know about For The Dream Program and what tips will help them navigate through the college process?

My advice for parents, who are currently going through the process of applying to college, is as parents we need to guide and show our children how to be independent and to have faith in oneself. It is important to remind our children that they are able to achieve whatever they set their mind to with hard work. Thank God for a national program like For The Dream that supports Hispanic students and their families reach for their goal and accomplish their dream of attending the university.

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