Program made possible by matching grant sends young Latinas to college

A "Journey to College" initiative sponsored by Forest Grove nonprofit Adelante Mujeres has received a major boost, according to Executive Director Bridget Cooke.

Now, in addition to providing college readiness education, financial literacy training and matched savings accounts, Adelante Mujeres is offering four $2,500 scholarships to Portland Community College.

Don and Bonnie Blish, Adelante volunteers since April 2012, have donated $5,000 to establish a scholarship fund that will send four students in the organization's Adelante Chicas program to PCC, Cooke noted.

The Portland Community College Foundation matched the Blish's contribution, resulting in a total of $10,000 available to Adelante Chicas for scholarships to PCC for the 2013-14 academic year.

“We want to help provide these young women with true equality of opportunity in a way that will allow them to shine," said Bonnie Blish. "PCC also works closely with local employers to design innovative job training programs.

"We hope that local businesses and individuals will help us support this Adelante Mujeres-PCC community partnership in future years.”

Cecilia Giron, director of Adelante Chicas, said she's thrilled about the scholarship.

“This provides a path for our Chicas to flourish and become future leaders in our communities. By working together we can help to make our society more inclusive and close the higher education achievement gap for communities of color," she said.

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