Before his death in 1991, Dr. Reynaldo Carreón, how important it is for children to have financial support for education.
Thirty years and more than $ 1.8 million in grants later, the philanthropist’s nonprofit organization, the Dr. Carreón Foundation (DCF), has blossomed into a vibrant empire helping high school students with Mexican ancestry from Coachella Valley and Blythe achieve their dreams of higher education.
“We have definitely reached an important milestone this year,” says DCF Executive Director Ricardo Loretta. “We are one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the Coachella Valley and have made ourselves strong in recent years. We’re bigger, we’re helping more children, and we’re growing. “
Upon submission of scholarship applications, funds will be awarded to students of Mexican descent who are in financial need, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, are committed to community improvement, and demonstrate leadership skills.
More than 300 students apply each year. This year, 74 students will be given a total of $ 136,000, a record number. Individual grants ranged from $ 1,000 to $ 3,000.
“We’re fortunate that the Coachella Valley community supports youth, and education in particular,” says Loretta, pointing out that over three decades, DCF has helped more than 800 scholarship recipients assign schools locally and across the country attend – from the College of the Desert and Cal State San Bernardino to MIT and Harvard University, among others.
Allies have become an integral part of the company’s success.
In recent years, DCF partners have supported the organization with financial contributions that have enabled it to expand the award of scholarships and to enlarge the foundation’s corpus. A prominent alliance is with OneFuture Coachella Valley (OFCV), which supports a variety of development initiatives, including job-based academies and connected learning pathways at the K-12 level and work-based learning for middle school through college students. Working with the foundation to raise funds for the scholarship program, OFCV will double every dollar donated to DCF to three dollars.
Looking ahead, Loretta expects the nonprofit to continue expanding its reach.
“I want us to double in the next three years so that we can give out 150-200 grants annually because the demand is there and always will be,” he says.
Loretta’s commitment to the nonprofit is deeply rooted in his own past.
After his father took a job at Dupont, he grew up in a small Mexican village where there were no Americans apart from his family.
“Youth education has always played a big role in my life,” he says. “My brother and I went to a one-room school. All of my friends were Mexican sons and daughters of people who worked for the Dupont factory. Spanish became my first language. Through this experience I have seen people who were very humble. I realized very early on that I was lucky enough to be in a family that could raise me. Now I love helping children. “
For more information about the Dr. Carreón Foundation, or to make a donation, visit carreonfoundation.org or call 858-344-4812.
Greg Archer writes about change agents, chance, and the entertainment industry. His work has appeared on the USA Today Network, Palm Springs Life, Huffington Post, The Advocate, and other media. His memoir Grace Revealed describes the odyssey of his Polish family during World War II. gregarcher.com.