The Jacksonville Jaguars wrapped up Hispanic Heritage Month in mid-October as the presenting sponsor of the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's 4th Annual Achieving the Dream Scholarship Awards and Hispanic Heritage Gala held at TIAA Bank Field.
Through the support of the Jaguars, the NFL and others, a total of $20,000 in scholarships was awarded at the event to 10 deserving high school seniors and college students.
Scholarship applicants are selected by committee made up of community leaders. In order to qualify students must be interviewed, participate in community service, provide letters of recommendation, hold a minimum GPA of 3.0, demonstrate financial need. They also had to craft two short essays about how this scholarship will help them become more involved in the community and explain their favorite Hispanic heritage memory.
Anthony Kerr – University of Central Florida
Ashlie Malone – Harvard University
Jessica Perez-Garcia – Florida State University
Katherine Rodriguez – Ohio State University
Linda ECHT – Florida State College at Jacksonville
Luis Trejo – Duke University
Magyanis Ruiz – Jacksonville University
Nicholas Leonard – University of North Florida
Nicole Nunez – University of South Florida
Romina Rojas Correa – University of North Florida
The students were also invited to stand on the sidelines for pregame ceremonies during the Jaguars vs. Saints game on Oct. 13 at TIAA Bank Field.
Earlier this month, the Jaguars selected Ed Perez, president and CEO of Three Grains of Rice Missions, as the recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. The awards recognize the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market. Perez was also honored at the Gala, in which the the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce celebrated their recently being recognized as the Chamber of the Year Award given by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The organization was recognized at a national convention for their work and commitment to northeast Florida Hispanic business community.
The Hispanic population of Northeast Florida is one of the fastest growing in the state, and the Jaguars have been active in embracing this growing audience. Jaguars WR Keelan Cole and LB Myles Jack have each traveled to Mexico in the past two years as NFL player ambassadors for the Tochito (Flag Football) National Tournament. In 2018, the Jaguars teamed up with the NFL to host an NFL PLAY 60 Character Camp at the Dream Finders Homes Flex Field at Daily's Place. Attending the camp were 300 Hispanic youth, ages 9-13, who were preselected by local nonprofit organizations as well as Duval County Public Schools.