Why I Support SLI: My Journey

Shining Accounting Services CEO Sandra Suarez (pictured cradling a framed newspaper article about her Samuel R. Bowman, II Endowed Scholarship award) has served as a board member, volunteer, and faithful donor for the Scholars Latino Initiative, which empowers its scholars just as Suarez was once empowered in her own educational journey.

Nothing is impossible. I absolutely HATE the phrase, “I can’t do it.” I believe that I am a prime example that if you never give up and persevere through all of life’s challenges, then you will achieve ANY goal you set out for yourself. 

After working in the U.S. as an immigrant for seven years, I decided to go back to school and get a degree to set up my own business. I had my doubts going forward such as how I was going to pay for my courses and how would I find the time to attend classes while raising three children. Luckily my husband at the time was a huge help in raising my kiddos as I accomplished my schoolwork.

However, the lingering financial burden was still weighing one me. The Samuel R. Bowman, II Endowed Scholarship [of The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County] came to the rescue and provided me with an amazing financial opportunity. I applied and received a scholarship in 2010 and suddenly a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I couldn’t believe it! I finally had no excuse to not pursue my dream of graduating from college in America. 

I am eternally grateful to SLI for believing in my community, providing an enormous opportunity, and supporting the dreams of dedicated individuals. Their continued involvement with the Latino community is why I continue to support their cause. Not only do I benefit emotionally from serving with them, but I can also help others receive necessary aid. 

Sandra Suarez, CEO, Shining Accounting Services

Although it was far from easy, especially with nagging (albeit delightful) children demanding my attention, and feeling like I never had enough time for my never-ending assignments, I was able to graduate in the spring of 2012. 

After graduation I felt compelled and slightly obligated to find a way to give back to the Latino community, the same way I was helped. I discovered the Scholars Latino Initiative (SLI) and I have been contributing as much as I can ever since. 

I am eternally grateful to SLI for believing in my community, providing an enormous opportunity, and supporting the dreams of dedicated individuals. Their continued involvement with the Latino community is why I continue to support their cause. Not only do I benefit emotionally from serving with them, but I can also help others receive necessary aid. 

SLI is a fantastic organization and I am proud to be a part of such a caring and resourceful community.