Latino U College Access’ Visiones Benefit Raised Over Four Hundred Thousand Dollars to Support Latino Youth and their College Dreams

Shirley Acevedo Buontempo with Latino U Scholars (Photos courtesy of Latino U College Access)

Latino U College Access (LUCA) hosted its 7th Annual Benefit – Visiones: Transforming Lives, Fulfilling Dream – on Thursday, November 7th at Abigail Kirsch at Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown, NY with 265 people in attendance. This year’s Honorees were Nancy Lieberman and Mark Ellman with the Founder’s Award; Wendy Aglietti, NM Morris Family Foundation with the Community Advocate Award; and PepsiCo with the Corporate Partner Award.

“This year’s theme was Transforming Lives, Fulfilling Dreams,” said Shirley Acevedo Buontempo, Founder and CEO, Latino U College Access. “We celebrated the bright futures of our Scholars and of our organization as we continue to change lives and provide opportunities for Latino youth who will be the first in their family to graduate from college. It is through the generosity, support, and commitment from the members of our community as well as our Honorees that we are able to help our students overcome any obstacle in the college enrollment process and guide them towards successfully graduating and embarking on their careers. Empowering students who would otherwise not have access to resources has a long term impact on our community, workforce, and economy.”

Attendees enjoyed an evening that included a cocktail hour filled with festive Latin flair, dinner, live auction, and a fund-a-need, which helped raise a record amount of over $400,000, that supports programs for Latino youth and their families. Byram Suqui Morocho, this year’s Latino U Scholar Speaker, who shared a moving testimonial on how LUCA helped make his college dream possible and their continued support through his college journey at SUNY Binghamton and entry into an engineering career.

This year’s Visiones Benefit sponsors were Champion Sponsors PepsiCO and Mark Ellman & Nancy Lieberman; Success Sponsors Jones Lang LaSalle and NM Morris Family Foundation; Access Sponsors Acorda Therapeutics, Thomas M. Leslie, Greenberg Taurig, LLP, Kelly & Andre Hunter, MasterCard, Mercy College, Morgan Stanley, Joyce & Paul Rheingold; Media Sponsors Univision and Westchester Magazine; plus many Mentor, Supporter, and Friend sponsors.

LUCA is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase college enrollment and completion among first generation Latino students by providing equal access and guidance through education, outreach, collaboration, and advocacy, enabling students to reach their full potential. To learn more about LUCA or to make a donation in support of their mission, please visit

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