The Future is Calling - Empower 150 youth today!

by Edu-Futuro (Educacion Para Nuestro Futuro)
Spring Fiesta 2014!
Spring Fiesta 2014!

Edu-Futuro's 2014 Spring Fiesta annual fundraising event was a great success!  On May 1, 2014, two of our Emerging Leaders Program alumni, Marisela and Edgar, shared their journey in obtaining full-ride scholarships to college this fall and the important role Edu-Futuro has played and continues to play in their lives.  Marisela shared her story of being transformed from a shy individual into a community leader and Edgar shared the impact that a dedicated mentor has made in his life.  Marisela and Edgar’s words touched many of the guests who attended our Spring Fiesta at the Artisphere.

“I knew that Edu-Futuro did great work in helping young people succeed, but hearing the students themselves talk about their journey was so impactful. I look forward to getting involved and helping young leaders to emerge. The Spring Fiesta was a great showcase for Edu-Futuro’s accomplishments," a guest shared with our Executive Director.

To add to the reasons to celebrate that evening, earlier in the week Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring had announced to the state’s public colleges and universities that children brought to the United States without proper documentation, known as DREAM students, now qualified for in-state tuition.  This wonderful news helps Edu-Futuro spread the message that success through education is within reach for immigrant youth!

Upcoming Events

On Tuesday, July 8, 2014 we will launch the Summer 2014 session of the Emerging Leaders Program: Part I with a special Kick-off event at the Arlington Central Library. We’re currently recruiting mentors and one-time volunteers for our Arlington and Falls Church program sites, visit our website for more information on how to get involved

Edu-Futuro Staff and Volunteers
Edu-Futuro Staff and Volunteers
Kyle (left) and Susan (right) pose with a student
Kyle (left) and Susan (right) pose with a student

The second phase of the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP II) was launched in the fall of 2011 to provide additional individualized support to the graduates of the first phase of the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP I ).  While ELP II provided support to students in grades 9-12 in its first two years, it became clear that the time that our students needed the most support from a caring adult was during their senior year of high school. High school seniors have to worry about college applications, scholarship applications, financial aid forms, and choosing a major on top of their normal school and homework responsibilities, not to mention extracurricular activities, community service hours, and after school jobs if they work.

With the addition of a second AmeriCorps ELP Facilitator to the Edu-Futuro team in the fall of 2013, we were able to re-format ELP II so that we can offer high school seniors easily accessible and reliable support from the moment they begin their college application process, through the last day of summer break if necessary in order to secure every bit of financial aid possible to make each students’ college dream a reality. AmeriCorps ELP Facilitators Kyle Huggins and Susan Rios serve full time in the Edu-Futuro office, so their students know when and where to go for support.

“It is truly rewarding to be able to help these high school students through this process. It is a valuable lesson they are learning; to balance school life, extracurricular activities, and college application process with strict deadlines,” Susan says. “Although many complained last month about how stressful and tedious it is to apply to college, they are being rewarded for their commitment and dedication with several letters of acceptance. I am looking forward to continuing this experience with them and incredibly excited to see what the future holds for them.”

“I love working with ELP II students because I get to help them tap into their own strengths. While we might have resources to offer them, I know that their best resource resides in their own potential because each of them is talented and brings a lot to the table,” Kyle shares. “That's what this program is all about: bringing out the best of each student so that they can create a better future for themselves.”

Upcoming Events

On Saturday, March 1 we will launch the Spring 2014 session of the Emerging Leaders Program: Part I with a special Kick-off event at George Mason University. We have an exciting session ahead of us including another college visit to Virginia Commonwealth University thanks to your support!

Marisela Lara, ELP II senior
Marisela Lara, ELP II senior

Each year, the Posse Foundation awards four-year, full-tuition scholarships to a select number of students with outstanding academic and leadership potential. This year, Edu-Futuro is very proud to announce that three graduates of our Emerging Leaders Program are finalists for this prestigious award.

High school seniors Analit Chambi from Falls Church High School, Marisela Lara from Washington-Lee High School, and Edgar Payano from Yorktown High School are graduates of the Emerging Leaders Program: Part I (ELP I) and are currently enrolled in the Emerging Leaders Program: Part II (ELP II). ELP II is the second phase of our college prep and leadership development program; it is a more individualized approach to the college preparation process designed specifically for seniors in high school.

Marisela speaks about her first ELP I session the summer after her sophomore year, “undoubtedly the most important aspect of my experience that summer was the fact that someone believed in me. I was encouraged to attempt things, such as to apply to scholarships, which I had previously avoided for fear of failing. But my mentors supported me and helped me to understand that I have a deep well of potential.”

“With the help of my mentors in ELP I and now in ELP II, I am a competitive finalist for a full-tuition scholarship,” Marisela says. “I cannot put into words how significant this is for my mother and me financially. Thanks to the support and inspiration given to me via Edu-Futuro, I am now one step closer to accomplishing my professional goal of practicing medicine.”

Upcoming Events

Saturday, December 14, 2013 is a big day for Edu-Futuro! In the morning we will hold a small closing ceremony marking the end of the fall 2013 semester of our Escuela Bolivia Saturday Spanish School at Claremont Elementary School.

Later that afternoon, we invite you to help us celebrate the fall 2013 class of Emerging Leaders at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, VA from 12:30pm-3pm. Among other great workshops this fall, we have had the opportunity to visit Catholic University in Washington, DC, heard the stories of accomplished guest speakers at our career panels, and we held a car wash and food drive fundraiser where our students raised over $400 in monetary donations and non-perishable food items that benefitted AFAC and A-SPAN.

Edu-Futuro sends you our most sincere appreciation for the support that has helped make all of this possible! 

ELP II seniors writing college essays
ELP II seniors writing college essays
Daniel Sarmento, Executive Director of Edu-Futuro
Daniel Sarmento, Executive Director of Edu-Futuro

Edu-Futuro is proud to announce the appointment of Daniel Sarmiento as our new Executive Director.  “Daniel was unanimously selected to lead our organization," said Edu-Futuro’s Board President Dr. Rosa Briceño. “He brings a rich experience working nationally with educational programs to empower Latino youth, a spirit of servant leadership, and a strong commitment to social justice. We are confident that Daniel will help take Edu-Futuro to the next level, so we can continue to grow and impact our community."

“I am delighted to be joining Edu-Futuro as Executive Director,” Sarmiento said. “I have enjoyed partnering with Edu-Futuro in the past to empower youth in our community and I’m very excited to now be leading this dynamic organization. We have the chance to continue building on the great work that has been done before and expand our reach to touch more of the Latino community.”

Mr. Sarmiento has dedicated his life's work to helping youth become leaders through his work in ministry, as a youth pastor and most recently by directing college empowerment programs throughout the country for the Hispanic College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.  He is passionate about empowering students and parents to succeed via the power of information, mentorship and education. Daniel received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Hope International University in Fullerton, CA where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He is the son of Mexican immigrants, was born in Denver, CO and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and two small children.

In other news

On Saturday, August 3, 2013 we graduated our summer 2013 class of the Emerging Leaders Program in a joint ceremony of 28 students grades 8 through 12 from our Arlington and Falls Church program sites. The graduation was held at the Arlington Central Library with a very special keynote speech delivered by our former Executive Director, Eneida Alcalde. Ms. Alcalde continues to support Edu-Futuro in her new role as President of Elevate, a firm designed to provide fundraising and management assistance to non-profit organizations. Thanks to your support, we were able to award six scholarships to our youth.

August also marked the end of the term of service for our three AmeriCorps members. For one year, Carla Cassidy, Isela Melendez-Carpio, and Jack Waas each served as full-time AmeriCorps staff members with Edu-Futuro. We are immensely thankful for their integral roles in our language and leadership programs and we look forward to welcoming three new AmeriCorps members this fall.

Spanish Academy, our annual two-week Spanish immersion summer camp held at St. George’s Church in Arlington, VA was another one of our summer successes. We were able to provide this summer enrichment program to 31 kindergarten through 5th grade students. We will launch our fall 2013 semester of the Escuela Bolivia, our Saturday language school, on September 14, 2013 to continue providing academic enrichment classes during the school year to both children and adults. Check out our new video to learn more about Escuela Bolivia.

ELP youth at a summer team building field trip
ELP youth at a summer team building field trip
Spanish Academy K-5th graders at the library
Spanish Academy K-5th graders at the library
Ryan Huaman, our 2012 talent show 1st prize winner
Ryan Huaman, our 2012 talent show 1st prize winner

Edu-Futuro is celebrating its 15th anniversary on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at its annual gala and talent show, Reach for the Stars! The talent show will feature immigrant youth who are graduates of our programs who embody our education-focused mission. Some of the students are in secondary school while others are in college or are recent college graduates. In the spirit of Edu-Futuro’s mission, and thanks to the generous donations from our supporters, the first, second, and third place winning performances will receive college scholarships of $1,000, $500, and $250 respectively.

Talent show contestants include last year’s grand prize winner, Ryan Huaman, a dancer who is a 9th grade student at Yorktown High School. Other acts include Diana Calderon, a singer from Williamsburg Middle School, and Carlos and Mayra Flores-Valverde, a brother and sister dance team who are graduates of Wakefield High School. Other acts include Josie Cuellar from Annandale High School, Rebeca Orellana and Lorena Villarroel from Washington-Lee High School and Annandale High School respectively, and Hareth Andrade-Ayala a recent graduate of Northern Virginia Community College.

While in high school, Hareth was involved with Edu-Futuro for several years through its college prep and leadership development initiative, the Emerging Leaders Program. She continues to stay involved with Edu-Futuro as a volunteer and shares, “Edu-Futuro provided me with caring mentors who helped me cultivate my leadership potential. Edu-Futuro believes in me and my dreams, and remains a pillar of support to this day for me and my family.”

The gala will also feature a silent auction with decorative items from around the world and a live auction that will include lithographs from the famous Bolivian artist Roberto Mamani Mamani and a Caribbean vacation. Reach for the Stars! will be held at the Artisphere located at 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia. The doors will open at 6:00pm and complimentary parking will be available for guests. To learn more and to purchase tickets for the gala, please visit the organization’s event website at

In other news

On Saturday, April 20, 2013 we graduated our spring 2013 class of the Emerging Leaders Program, which consisted of 22 students grades 8 through 12 from both our Arlington and Falls Church program sites. The graduation ceremony was held at Arlington Central Library where we were able to award six college scholarships thanks to your support!

This year marks the 15th anniversary of our flagship program, the Escuela Bolivia Program. On Saturday, May 18, 2013 we celebrated the end of the 2012-2013 school year with a beautiful closing ceremony at Claremont Elementary School. Each class showcased the language skills and cultural knowledge that they developed over the course of the year with a song or dance from a Latin American country. Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez, Chair of the Arlington Public Schools Board, attended the event as our guest. She was one of the founding members of Escuela Bolivia and through the years has remained supportive of our language and academic enrichment efforts.

Upcoming events

Each year, Deloitte staff members set aside their office duties for the day to volunteer in their community as part of a worldwide initiative called IMPACT Day. On Friday, June 7, 2013 a team of Deloitte consultants will be providing graduates of the Emerging Leaders Program with a series of professional development workshops geared toward high school students, college students, and recent college graduates at their Rosslyn offices. Participants will also have the opportunity to work one-on-one and in groups with Deloitte professionals from diverse educational, career, and cultural backgrounds during this special opportunity.

The Emerging Leaders Program will be launching its summer 2013 session at the end of June. This semester we’ve got a lot of exciting activities and events planned for both our Arlington and Falls Church sites, including college visits to several Virginia universities and Steps for College Success, an all-day conference consisting of a college fair and breakout workshops for both students and parents organized by ELP graduates! 

Cousins Rebeca & Lorena--2012 2nd prize winners
Cousins Rebeca & Lorena--2012 2nd prize winners

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Organization Information

Edu-Futuro (Educacion Para Nuestro Futuro)

Location: Arlington, VA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Jessie Ferguson
Arlington, VA United States

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