April 18, 2013:
Contact: Ramón León
President and CEO
Latino Economic Development Center
For immediate release
La Loma Tamales giving back to the community thru the Latino Scholarship Fund
In a historic and symbolic event to take place on April 30, 2013, at 5:30 pm at the Midtown Global Market, Mr. Enrique Garcia and his wife Mrs. Noelia Urzua, owners of MN-based “La Loma Tamales”, will announce the creation of the “Garcia-Urzua Scholarship” within the Latino Scholarship Fund of the Latino Economic Development Center.
“La Loma” was opened in 1999 as a Hispanic coffee shop, serving beverages including fresh brewed coffees, atole, a traditional hot Mexican drink and Mexican soda. The featured item is the traditional handmade Mexican recipe tamales. The tamales are made from scratch using fresh stone ground whole kernel corn to make the masa (dough). The filling is made from fresh ingredients placed in the center of the masa. The masa and filling are then wrapped in a corn husk or banana leaf and then steam-cooked. The stone ground corn is one of the ingredients that gives La Loma Tamales its superior texture and true Mexican flavor.
Mr. Garcia and Mrs. Urzua wish to implement and leave a tangible inheritance as a way of appreciation to the community who helped them succeed in business, and to exercise their social responsibility thru the implementation of this perpetual scholarship. They are making a long-term financial commitment to the Latino Scholarship Fund, which will award one scholarship under their name every year to eligible students.
In 2005 the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) established the Latino Scholarship Fund to help local Latino students to pursue higher education at post-secondary institutions in Minnesota, and to “provide and promote higher education opportunities to Latino youth” in order to ensure “highly educated human capital for a wealthy and healthy Minnesota.”
“The establishment of this scholarship is proof of the commitment that Latino businesses have to help address and solve the social challenges faced by our community and to keep the dreams of Latino immigrants in Minnesota alive” said Ramon Leon, President and CEO of LEDC.
“We are grateful to our employees, our customers and all the people who have helped La Loma be a successful business” said Noelia Urzua. “Our children are the future of our state and country, they deserve opportunities to go to college, and we have a responsibility of making sure they have the tools needed in order to build a healthy community” Enrique Garcia responded when asked why they decided to implement this scholarship.
Scholarships awarded by LEDC typically range from $1,500 to $3,500. To be eligible, students must have at least one parent who was born in a Latin American country, graduate from a Minnesota high school, and enroll in a post-secondary institution in Minnesota. Applications are evaluated by an independent selection committee. The committee considers academic performance (a minimum of 2.5 GPA), financial need, educational goals, and leadership in the Latino community. Preference is given to students ineligible for state or federal financial aid for college. Eligible high school seniors can request an application by calling 612 724-5332 to apply and submitting it to our main office in Minneapolis.
On May 8, 2013, at LEDC’s 10th Annual Meeting of the membership at Plaza Verde’s ballroom, 5 scholarships will be awarded with the “Garcia-Urzua Scholarship” being one of them.
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The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) is a nonprofit organization founded by Latino leaders in different fields of community development who share the same mission and vision. The LEDC emerged out of a small group of immigrants who formed a Latino congregation in 1994: Sagrado Corazón de Jesus (Sacred Heart of Jesus) in South Minneapolis. Members worked in teams on educational, legal, and economic issues, and over time, realized that economic progress was imperative to strengthen the Latino community. LEDC was incorporated in 2003 with assistance from several local business development organizations. With the help of those organizations, LEDC worked to improve technical and leadership skills, which led to a project that is now the Cooperative Mercado Central, Plaza Latina and the Midtown Global Market. Nationally, LEDC is member of the National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders, where a national agenda to promote individual and community wealth and asset-building that includes Latinos is pursued.
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