“Faith in the motivation, strength, and resiliency of SLI scholars”: SLI adapts for COVID-19

Just as public school systems and universities are continuing to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI) is adapting its programming to continue creating college opportunities and providing support for its scholars.

SLI program coordinators and collaborating volunteers and educators in Harrisonburg, Richmond, and Winchester are helping to identify its scholars’ immediate educational needs such as access to necessary technology, and are developing modified SLI activities such as online seminars and virtual mentorship strategies to continue providing scholars with college readiness opportunities.

They are also listening even more closely than usual to what students are saying about their own and their families’ health and well being, according to Carlos Aleman, SLI program director and James Madison University professor. 

“Most of our students and their family members have been working continuously in essential service roles since the pandemic began, and are at an even higher risk of a toll taken on their minds and bodies than the typical student,” he said. “It’s a source of hope that the broader community has faith in the motivation, strength, and resiliency that characterize all of our SLI scholars.”

SLI supporters are central to making possible SLI’s ongoing mission and support for scholars, said Jason Good, SLI board chair and Eastern Mennonite University vice-president for innovation and student recruitment.

“Donor support of our scholars during these times is more important than ever. I am grateful that our generous donors are continuing to show their trust in SLI as a good steward of their giving and as an avenue for personal impact,” he said.

Contributions to support SLI scholarships, computer awards, and dual enrollment tuition assistance are accepted at vasli.org/donate or by check mailed to PO Box 2734, Harrisonburg, VA 22834.