Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton was honored at this year’s LEAP Foundation DC toy drive. The Foundation named a scholarship in her name in recognition of her tireless work for the District of Columbia and her unwavering support of LEAP’s efforts to life up the area’s disadvantaged youth. Gissell Botero, Latino Student Fund alumni, was the first to receive this special scholarship, which will support her pursuit to obtain a medical degree.
Latino Student Fund alumni Gissell Botero received the first-ever Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton scholarship. This annual award, named in honor of the Congresswoman’s dedication as a stateswoman and her longstanding support of the Foundation, was given to Botero in support of her plans to pursue a medical degree. She recently was accepted into a program in Copenhagen and the $1,000 scholarship will help her continue on the path to a higher education. This only became a possibility for Botero about 10 years ago, when she immigrated with her mother to the United States from Columbia. Not only was Botero faced with the difficulties of adjusting to a new way of living, but she also was tasked with learning a new language at just 11 years old. Described by LSF’s Maria Fernana Borja as someone who consistently pulls through, her commitment to her education and her dedication to improving the lives of others is evident.
LEAP Foundation DC is incredibly grateful for the work that Mayor Muriel Bowser has done for the District of Columbia. Her work in the community since 2015 has brought a fresh start to the area and is in direct alignment with LEAP’s mission to bridge the gap between hope and achievement. The Foundation honored Mayor Bowser this evening with a Public Service Award in recognition for the tireless work she had done on behalf of her constituents, as well as her support for the Foundation.
LEAP has worked closely with the Latino Student Fund to ensure that the Latino population is able to pursue every educational opportunity possible. President and CEO Maria Fernanda Borja was happy to provide the names of two families who were deserving of an incredible holiday season. She recognized the families as hard-working students and parents who make every effort to attend the Saturday morning tutoring programs offered at LSF. Dr. Clayton Lawrence of LEAP Foundation DC also recognized LSF alumni Gissell Botero with the Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton scholarship in support of her continued education in the medical field.
The Gamboa family – mother, Marisol, and father, Javier, along with three children – were one of the beneficiaries of this year’s LEAP Foundation DC toy drive. The family travels each Saturday from Arlington, Va., to attend the tutoring program offered by the Latino Student Fund. Natives of Peru, Javier’s highest level of education is 9th grade, while Marisol was only able to attend school until 7th grade. Their children are shining examples of LSF’s tutoring program, thanks to the family’s drive and determination to continue their educations.
The Garcia-Palacios family participates in Saturday tutoring offered by the Latino Student Fund. Mother and father Sandra and Omar have high school diplomas from their home country and earn just $20,000 to $40,000 each year to bring up their four children, ages 4 to 14. The couple stresses the importance of pursuing a higher education and appreciates being chosen as a recipient of this year’s annual drive. This special family was adopted by LEAP Foundation DC and its supporters for this year’s annual toy drive. They will enjoy a happy Christmas thanks to the generosity of our friends and family.