San Juan, PR- With the mission to encourage and support the new and upcoming generation of professionals, alumni of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), living in the Continental United States, presented scholarships to twenty students of the UPR system. The Association of University of Puerto Rico Alumni and Friends Abroad (UPRAA), granted scholarships to the top 20 out of 200 applications submitted by students who demonstrated financial need and excelled academically in the science, technology, engineering, math and several other fields.

UPRAA gave $1,000 grants to each of the selected students. The funds for these scholarships come from fundraising sources and through the support of corporations like Ford Motor Company, Corvus Group, and Dominion Energy.

Jose Torres, President of UPRAA, said that there was more to excelling in the STEAM fields. In the selection process, reviewers took into consideration the letters of recommendation, the applicants written essay, and financial needs.

The 200 applicants were from all of the eleven University of Puerto Rico campuses. Nonetheless, from the twenty selected, three students were from the UPR Piedras Campus, four from the UPR Ponce Campus, ten from UPR Mayaguez Campus, two from UPR Cayey Campus, and one form the UPR School of Medicine.

From its beginning in 2003, UPRAA has granted over $180,000 in scholarships to UPR students. Torres mentioned, “Our philanthropic work demonstrates the impact that the University of Puerto Rico personally had in every one of us at UPRAA. Our scholarship program is what makes every UPRAA member. Knowing that we are touching and helping the lives of the upcoming generation is the greatest satisfaction that I, as president of this organization, can have. “

Even though most of UPRAA ’s events are held in the mainland (DC, Maryland, and Virginia area), Jose Torres urged that every alumni of the UPR system should join the organization, or if not, find a way to donate and give back to their Alma Mater. “We all must support the academic institution that gave us the foundation and tools to be successful professionals today. Any  contribution will help in one way or another to the future of Puerto Rico and our upcoming leaders.”

At the event, that took place on April 12th at the terrace of the main administrative offices of the UPR system in San Juan Puerto Rico, Dr. Darrel Hillman Beccera, Interim Chancellor of the UPR System, thanked the continuous support that the association has been giving for the past years. “Those who extend their hands to help this amazing institution, that has given much to Puerto Rico, is considered a true friend and ally. Today, twenty of our students are not only receiving a scholarship, but a gesture of motivation and support for them to accomplish their dreams and goals.” Dr. Hillman ended up his speech by thanking, once again, UPRAA for their amazing work and for maintaining a direct link although from afar.

Vivian Dávila, Public Relations and Communications Manager of Ford in Puerto Rico, was one of the special guests. Dávila highlighted that Ford has been supporting UPRAA and its scholarship program since 2013. “Ford’s mission throughout the world is to have a better quality of life in every city that we serve. At Ford, we focus on education as the spearhead to the progress of individuals and communities. Ford grants scholarships in the STEM areas as an investment to the future of mobility solutions. To find these solutions, we need experts in the science, technology, engineering and mathematical fields.”

UPRAA represents thousands of alumni residing in Puerto Rico and throughout the U.S. supporting charitable, scholarship, educational and mentorship programs. Its goal is to facilitate educational and networking programs to understand the economic situation in Puerto Rico better and stimulate active participation of the community to assist in finding solutions.

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