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Celebrating Resilience: Honoring Achievement Amidst Adversity at the Lynn Hispanic Scholarship Fund Gala

Updated: Jul 7

On May 22, 2024, the Lynn Hispanic Scholarship Fund (LHSF) celebrated its annual gala, awarding $30K in scholarships to 13 students from Lynn, Massachusetts. However, the major local headline the following morning read, “1 injured in shooting at local beach.”


Imagine, working-class families coming together for a night of laughter, dance, and joy to celebrate their students’ academic achievements, only to step foot outside the venue and be met with a police roadblock as local officials search for a shooting suspect. Just minutes before, these same students and their families had honored the memory of Jandriel Heredia, a former local student taken too soon by a senseless shooting, through an LHSF scholarship in his name.


When we talk about our communities being resilient, this is what we mean: we come together and teach our youth that we can and must turn tragedies into sources of strength and unity. Our scholarship recipients will carry with them the ever-present memory of Jandriel Heredia as a reminder that while many peers may not have the opportunity to embark on their own higher education journey, they carry the dreams and aspirations of a community that wants to see them succeed. We are in this together. Yet, for now, these students must continue to fight for every accomplishment in an environment where violent acts have, sadly, become the norm.


It’s difficult to convey the complexity and reality of the adversity our students face in a set of standardized grant questions. When funders talk about trust-based philanthropy, we hope they understand that through their funding, they are not just supporting LHSF, but also the students’ educational aspirations by opening a window where they may encounter a closed door. In other words, they trust in our grassroots efforts as a community that lives with this adversity every day yet continues to hope. For this reason, we are thankful to The Boston Foundation’s Latino Equity Fund, not only for its financial support, but for also attending the gala and showing up for our students. 


For over 30 years, the LHSF has championed the efforts of our Lynn students because we believe in them and refuse to let their successes be overshadowed by the challenges and obstacles they encounter. Our students represent more than adversity; they embody our hope for a better tomorrow.


By Jazmine Ramirez (Board Member)



Police at Lynn Beach


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