Support Latino U College Access

Latino U College Access (LUCA) guides low-income Latino youth as they navigate higher education and become the first person in their families to graduate from college. Students are mentored on their journeys to and through college so that they can graduate on time and career ready with little to no debt. When you take a closer look, you will find that LUCA’s ripples of impact extend far beyond its Scholars. Families are empowered. Volunteers are inspired. Even our communities, witnessing students pursue a dream they never thought possible, are changed. That’s why this year's theme holds so much significance for the LUCA familia.
If you believe that all students deserve equitable access to opportunities, please make a donation in support of our mission today.


of our $250,000 goal


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Online Auction and Raffle

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Partnership Award

White Plains High School Guidance Department
Accepted by: Sara Hall, Assistant Principal

Community Advocate Award

Debbie Shiffman
LUCA College Coach Advisor

Event Chairs & Committee

Event Chairs

Shawn Edwards & Paulina Ribadeneyra

Benefit Committee

Shirley Acevedo Buontempo

Wendy Aglietti

Carlos & Lisa Almodovar

Al Gutierrez

Lydia Kris

Christine Louvet

Miguel Mendez

Linda Press Wolfe

Clara & Antonio Román

Dalia Valdés

Linda Zeltner

Event Sponsors

Success Sponsors


Edwin Gould Foundation

LUCA Board of Directors - Executive Committee
Lisa Bell, Shawn Edwards, Jane Matluck, Steve Moroney

Debbie & David Shiffman

White Plains High School

Opportunity Sponsors

Danone North America

Mark Ellman & Nancy Lieberman



S&P Global

Sculptor Capital

Matthew & Maureen Searles

Solomon Partners

Access Sponsor

Lydia & Gary Kris

Listing as of 10/19/21



About LUCA

Founded in 2012, Latino U College Access (LUCA) is a nonprofit organization that transforms lives by making college dreams a reality for students who are the first in their families to attend college. LUCA guides first-gen students through individualized coaching and culturally relevant programming as they navigate higher education to successfully enroll in schools that meet their financial and academic needs, enabling them to graduate on time and career ready.

Learn More

COVID-19 has negatively impacted the lives of millions around the world but especially and disproportionately the Latino community. For our young scholars, the toll has been significant. They are scared and worried about the sustainability and health of their families; many have been doubting if their college dreams can become a reality. Our families are hard-working, humble, and facing many challenges in terms of their ongoing employment, health, and security. LUCA remains committed to supporting our students and families through these uncertain times, because together we know that we are stronger. We see them, hear them, and believe in them. They are not alone, and LUCA strives to be a beacon of light during these dark times.

Despite the multifaceted challenges LUCA faced over the last eighteen months, our small but mighty team transformed all our programming to be delivered virtually; as a result, we are proud to report that our mission and services continued without any interruption.

Our Focus Areas

College Access

The ​Latino U Scholars​ program provides intensive, individualized mentoring to students from the end of junior year through senior year of high school by sharing resources and supporting students through the complexities of college admissions and financial aid.
College Success & Career Readiness

The ​First Gen Forward​ (FGF) program provides comprehensive support to Latino U Scholars once they enroll in college to ensure they graduate on-time and career ready.
Community Information Sessions​

Culturally-relevant, Spanish language presentations on topics including ​Pathways to College​, ​Applying to College​, and ​Paying for College​ delivered at partner high school with over 50% Hispanic student populations.
Financial Aid Support

Through school-wide ​FAFSA Boot Camps​ and individualized workshops, trained volunteers assist families with submitting critical applications for federal, state, and institutional aid. Students also receive support deciphering financial aid award letters to assess their best options.

Board of Directors

Lisa M. Bell
US Bank

Patricia Bogoya-Bravo 

Shawn Edwards 
Vice Chairman 
Bloomberg LP

Cosette Gutierrez
Executive Director, LUCA

Christine Louvet 
Louvet Consulting

Jane Matluck
Community Volunteer

Miguel M. Mendez
Morgan Stanley

Stephen Moroney
TD Bank

Aldo J. Polak
Ionos Capital Partners

Clara Román 
Houlihan Lawrence

Matthew Searles 
Merritt Healthcare Advisors

Scott Silverstein 
Yolo Candy

Rodrigo Trelles Zabala 
UBS O’Connor

Dalia Hernández Valdés
Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s

Shirley Acevedo Buontempo
Founder, LUCA