WGU and US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce partner to improve lives through education

 Western Governors University (WGU) and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce  announced a collaboration featuring a community outreach scholarship that will help increase access to education for Hispanics by providing an affordable, competency-based, online education that fits the needs of working adults and business owners.

The WGU/USHCC Partnership Scholarship will award $5,000 to each recipient, providing an affordable and accredited way to advance careers by completing an online bachelor’s or master’s degree.

The purpose of the collaboration between WGU and the USHCC is to reach the Hispanic population via USHCC’s national network and present WGU’s educational options and scholarships in support of the university’s mission to create pathways to opportunity.  USHCC actively promotes the economic growth, development, and interests of its members, which include corporations, Hispanic enterprises, and local chambers of commerce.

“We are excited to partner with the USHCC to help increase access to higher education and the impact that education can have in Hispanic communities. Being Hispanic myself, I have a special love for my community,” said WGU Senior Vice President of Regional Operations Gene Hayes. “WGU remains true to its mission to change lives for the better by creating pathways to opportunity. Our promise is to make education work for everyone.”

USHCC President and CEO Ramiro A. Cavazos echoed the Chamber’s excitement over the collaboration and the opportunities it will create for the Hispanic community.

“The Chamber has long supported and invested in equitable access for all. Our partnership with WGU mirrors our mission of building an ecosystem to accelerate Hispanic business growth and prosperity,” Cavazos said. “One of the best ways to accomplish more equity is to extend access to higher education, which these scholarships will do.”

Under the terms of the partnership, USHCC members—or anyone who is informed by employees or members—are eligible to apply for this scholarship. WGU’s Community Outreach Scholarship partners with several community and nonprofit organizations around the country to continue to expand access to higher education for historically underserved populations.

Nikki Torres, strategic partnership manager for WGU and a member of the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington state, was instrumental in connecting the university to the national chamber. For Torres, who is a first-generation college graduate herself, the partnership is deeply gratifying.

“This will broaden the opportunity for so many hard-working families. The Chamber helps empower and support so many Hispanic-owned businesses by providing training and advocacy,” Torres said. “It really does take a village, and this partnership will expand affordable education for more deserving people.”

The partnership announcement comes during National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct 15), which celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson and was enacted into law on August 17, 1988.