UMKC Latinx Student Union raises money for Hispanic students

Last year the HDF awarded over $650,000 in scholarships to local Hispanic students. (HDF)

Tyrionna Clardy

UMKC’s Latinx Student Union (LSU) recently wrapped up its campaign “Cambio para Cambio” to raise money for scholarships for local Hispanic students in need. 

“Change for change” in English, the community fundraiser is coordinated by the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund (HDF) and has over 40 local participating organizations including LSU. Donations to the Cambio para Cambio campaign help support Hispanic students in need, including providing scholarships for DACA recipients like Cesar Aldana.

“Being a DACA recipient… there’s a lot of adversity you have to deal with knowing you don’t have as many opportunities as some of your peers,” said Aldana, a graduate of Rockhurst University. “The Hispanic Development Fund has given me an opportunity.”

This year’s LSU campaign consisted of various events to bring the campus community together, celebrate Latinx culture and collect change. Running from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, these events included a Betty Rae’s ice cream social, raffles, Pie a Prez and movie nights, among many others.

Lauren Orozco, the vice president of LSU, said their organization has been effective at fundraising because it is run by Latinx students for Latinx students.

“We compete against 20 different universities and colleges, but we have managed to win the past three years and hope to do so this year,” Orozco said, referring to LSU’s success in past Cambio para Cambio campaigns.

Other participating organizations include local high schools like Rockhurst High School and area colleges like Avila University and Johnson County Community College.

Though they’ve only been around for a little over three decades, the HDF has managed to raise over $8 million to provide scholarships for roughly 4,500 students.

LSU itself has raised thousands of dollars over the years that have contributed to many scholarships. Orozco said that all the money raised by LSU goes directly to students who apply for a HDF scholarship and put UMKC as their designated school. 

“We as an organization are unsure of how many scholarships our personal efforts have put in the hands of UMKC students,” Orozco said. “However, the Hispanic Development Fund of Kansas City does give out tons of scholarships each year with our efforts.”

So far the campaign has raised $66,003 in donations, roughly halfway to its goal of $130,000. HDF donors also matched every dollar donated between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15, effectively doubling the financial impact of the campaign. 

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