New AL DÍA scholarship allows LatinX communication students to find their voice

By America Lopez-Santiago
June 20, 2021

The sound of applause echoed off the mansion walls as Cabrini’s President Donald Taylor and Hernán Guaracao, founder and CEO of AL DÍA, shook hands, signifying the unity between Cabrini and AL DÍA, a multicultural and multilingual news media organization based in Philadelphia. 

President Taylor and Hernán Guaracao, founder and CEO of Al DÍA, shaking hand. Photo by Sierra Dotson.

On the afternoon of April 21, Cabrini hosted a small signing ceremony that has been months in the making. This scholarship will help empower the next generation of LatinX students within the communication department. 

“The first look that people may get because of AL DÍA is that the scholarship is only for Latinx students,” Stephen Highsmith, vice president for Institutional Advancement, said. “However, Mr. Guaracao has made it that anyone who has been historically underrepresented can apply for the scholarship.”

The AL DÍA scholarship is an example of Cabrini’s mission to educate students of all faiths, cultures, and backgrounds as they become engaged citizens of the world.

The scholarship fund will award $5,000 for three years guaranteed by AL DÍA Media Educational Foundation. One student could receive the whole fund, or it can be split between two students. The scholarship is for rising seniors within the communication department. 

Hernán Guaracao giving his speech at the ceremonial signing. Photo by Sierra Dotson.

Taylor has also stated that one of his focus strategies is to make Cabrini a Hispanic Serving Institution, which includes partnering with organizations like the National Hispanic Institute. A Hispanic Serving Institution is an institution of higher education with 25 percent Hispanic students enrolled as full-time undergraduates. 

“The spirit of the AL DÍA foundation scholar fund reflects our founder, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini,” Taylor said. “Mother Cabrini insisted that the Cabrini education would link intellectual competence with moral development while installing a special concern for those persons in need.”

AL DÍA was started 25 years ago, with the idea to document the truly undocumented. AL DÍA gives readers a unique perspective into Latinx culture and communities, using multicultural and multimedia approaches. 

“We need to have the younger generations that are coming out of college to come into this profession to be empowered and to tell their stories,” Guaracao, a member of Cabrini’s Board of Trustees, said.

Guaracao believes that this scholarship won’t only help students find their voice, but he also believes that it will help evolve the media industry. He also feels that media outlets must talk about the 450,000 undocumented students who are already in college.

Jose Rodriguez, chief diversity officer, holding an AL DÍA hat. Photo by Sierra Dotson.

In addition to the scholar’s fund, Guaracao is giving communication majors the opportunity to have internships or fellowships with AL DÍA. He hopes this will help students get real training and by making them valuable for the future. 

“Your meaningful philanthropy will allow us to create a unique academic environment to help lantinx students have successful years in journalism, news media and media business management,” Dr. Chioma Ugochukwu, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said

Many of the attendees hope that this scholarship will help empower students who might remain in the shadows. 

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America Lopez-Santiago

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