The Hispanic Area Council (HAC) with Weber State University and the Center for Multicultural Excellence hosted a fundraising soccer tournament on April 16 at Ogden Indoor Soccer.
The event was organized by the leaders of the Hispanic council at Weber State University and was designed to raise funds for undocumented and/or first generation Hispanic or Latino college students.
“We created this event to give students who are dreamers the opportunity to come to college and be a part of Weber State,” HAC Secretary Amber Fast said. “Many student dreamers do not have the funds to go to college. We host events like this in order to raise money to help those in our community.”
The demand for the funds has been great, HAC adviser Monica Rodriguez said. The soccer tournament was started three years ago to funds for the Oportunidad (Opportunity) Scholarship, which is currently funding 13 students.
“All the proceeds will be donated to the scholarship fund, which supports our current and future students who have dreams of attending Weber State University,” Rodriguez said.
Eight teams of seven to 15 people signed up for the tournament. Participants were required to pay a registration fee of $18 per individual or $180 per team. Each contributor received a HAC “Kick it for Higher Ed” T-shirt with their registration.
All proceeds will be matched by an anonymous donor to fund the opportunity scholarships.
This soccer tournament was played knock-out style, and the winning team received a trophy and championship T-shirts.
“We are hoping that this event brings awareness for those who are FAFSA eligible and receive no other scholarships or aid to go to school,” Rodriguez said. “We hope to expand this event going forward and bring in more donations for the scholarship.”
The HAC also hosts many other fundraising events throughout the year in addition to “Kick it for Higher Ed.” During the semester, the HAC hosts local concerts with artists from surrounding countries.
“Earlier in the semester, the HAC hosted a Valentines Dance that raised money for the Weber Cares food pantry on campus,” Treasurer Juliana Palacio said. “We also hold other small fundraising events on and off campus to earn money for our organization.”
Although the association is called the Hispanic Area Council, they encourage other nationalities to be a part of their institution.
“We want to expand our council to not just be for one specific Spanish population,” Fast said. “Anyone is welcome to come to our meetings and get involved in our organization.”
Nestor Robles, a “Kick it for Higher Ed” founder and a recent Weber State graduate, said that alumni should also stay involved in HAC.
“Come out to HAC meetings, see what they are up to, get involved and spread the word. This is a great organization to be a part of even after graduation,” he said.
For more information on how to get involved with the Hispanic Area Council or how to donate to the “Oportunidad (Opportunity) Scholarship,” email firstname.lastname@example.org.