The Roberto Hernández Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee raised more than $32,000 at its first annual PALM Latino Graduation Banquet on May 6. The sold-out event combined two annual traditions honoring UWM’s growing population of Latino students: a Latino graduation banquet and the PALM fundraiser (Promoting Academics in Latino Milwaukee).
“We’re proud that UWM is the educational home for 2,100 undergraduate and 130 graduate students of Latino origin,” said Alberto Maldonado, interim director of the Roberto Hernández Center. “These scholars are the fastest growing group of college-aged students in Wisconsin, but their journey through college can be a bumpy one. Paying for college as a first-generation student, especially an undocumented one, is difficult. PALM scholarships help them stay in school, where they belong, during difficult financial times.”
Forty UWM students and graduates have received PALM scholarships since the program began six years ago, and 41 graduates were honored by the Roberto Hernández Center on May 6. Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Pedro Colón delivered the evening’s keynote address. Graduating senior Cinthia Téllez-Silva received the Puente Award for her advocacy for undocumented college students in Milwaukee and her academic success as a communication major at UWM. Stan Stojkovic, dean of the university’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, received the PALM Amigo Award.