Helping the local community is a big part of Car Credit Tampa’s business. This year, the used car dealer is selecting a new nonprofit each month for a $2,000 donation, along with the opportunity for the nonprofit to tell the community about its mission on WRMD Telemundo 49.
In May, Car Credit chose the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council, a group that is helping Latinos in Tampa attend college.
Since it was founded in 1983, the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council has focused on giving the Latino community a voice on issues that are important to the Hispanic community. The group meets with the Tampa Mayor twice a year with that in mind.
Just as important, the Council has endowments at the University of Tampa, University of South Florida and Hillsborough Community College to award scholarships to Latino students who are the first of their families to graduate from high school or attend college.
The students not only receive a scholarship, but also get mentorship throughout the year. “We talk about their grades, we get coffee at Starbucks or Buddy Brew. I recently helped one student get an internship at a dentist’s office,” said Anthony Perez, member of the Council’s Advisory Board.
Two of this year’s scholarship honorees are Angel Luna and Cynthia Bencomo, who are being sponsored through USF’s Latino Scholarship program. Angel moved to Tampa from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and transferred to USF from HCC. He is majoring in computer engineering and is the first in his family to go to college. Angel wants to introduce technology to Latino communities to help them learn new languages.
Cynthia also transferred from HCC and is the first in her family to go to college. She’s attending USF’s Muma College of Business and majoring in Business Management with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Her plan after earning her undergraduate degree is to go to law school.
The Council gives out about six scholarships each year, and has awarded over $500,000 since the program began in 1998. Car Credit’s donation will go towards additional funds for the scholarship endowments at the participating schools.
“We are so pleased to have the support of Car Credit Tampa for our scholarship programs,” said Patsy Sanchez, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at USF and Immediate Past Chair of the Council. “Car Credit makes a significant difference in the Hispanic community, and we are proud to work with them on these initiatives.”
Members of the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council with Tampa Mayor Jane Castor at the organization’s annual Latinos Unidos luncheon, which helps to raise money for its scholarship endowments. Photo courtesy of Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council.