• SLI Advisory Council

    SLI Announces Advisory Council

    A warm welcome to the members of the brand new SLI Advisory Council! This body, facilitated by SLI Board of Directors chair-elect Karina Kline-Gabel and member Larry Miller and Director of Development Christopher Clymer Kurtz, will advance the expansion of SLI’s network of supporters and advocates to promote SLI’s long-term fiscal sustainability and growth, for the benefit of SLI scholars.

    Inaugural council members are:

    • Kenia Brooks, Farm Placement Specialist, Virginia Employment Commission, Winchester
    • Amelia Castañeda (not pictured), Welcome Center and Family Advocacy Coordinator, Richmond Public Schools, Richmond
    • Isabel Castillo, Lead Organizer, Virginia Organizing, Harrisonburg
    • Diana Patterson, Owner, DSP Services, LLC, Winchester
    • Sal Romero, Jr., Director of Equity and Community Engagement, Harrisonburg City Public Schools, Harrisonburg
    • Lyons Sanchezconcha, Virginia Latino Advisory Board; Educator, Richmond Public Schools; and College and Career Bound Program Facilitator, Sacred Heart Center, Richmond
  • Mary

    Meeting Mary

    Educational inequalities and how SLI opens doors

    Scholars Latino Initiative’s director of development Christopher Clymer Kurtz first learned about SLI in 2018 when he interviewed one of its scholars, Mary, for a WMRA report about inequalities in education. He recently reconnected with Mary, and wrote this update. READ MORE

  • Great Community Give and SLI

    Thank you, Great Community Give friends!

    Educators shared why they support SLI, SLI scholars provided testimonials, and donors, eager to empower local Latino/x students who dream of going to college, responded during the 2020 Great Community Give.

    More than 70 people and educators who pledged matching funds donated more than $11,000 (in most cases giving extra to cover platform and payment fees!).

    THANK YOU!

    Ongoing donations are gratefully welcomed at vasli.org/donate.

    Educators pledging Great Community Give matching funds included:

    • Pete Bsumek, Professor, James Madison University
    • Christopher Clymer Kurtz, former teacher, Rockingham County Public Schools
    • Lara Coggin, Ph.D., ESOL Teacher, Richmond Public Schools
    • Amber Corriston, Dance Specialist, Harrisonburg City Public Schools
    • Mike Davis, Executive Advisor to the President, James Madison University
    • John A. Downey, Ph.D., President, Blue Ridge Community College
    • Andrew Dudley Barnes, Lecturer, James Madison University
    • *Jason Good, Vice President for Innovation and Student Recruitment, Eastern Mennonite University
    • *Laura Feichtinger-McGrath, Director of EL Services and Title III, Harrisonburg City Public Schools
    • Suzanne Fiederlein, Ph.D., Interim Director, CISR, James Madison University
    • MarthaJune Graber, Retired Spanish Teacher
    • Susan Huxman, Ph.D., President, Eastern Mennonite University
    • Pat Lintner, Chief Academic Officer, Harrisonburg City Public Schools
    • Fawn-Amber Montoya, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Honors College, James Madison University
    • Jenna Martin-Trinka, Reading Specialist, Harrisonburg City Public Schools
    • C. Leigh Nelson, Ph.D., Professor, James Madison University
    • *Bryan Pearce-Gonzales, Professor of Hispanic Studies, Shenandoah University
    • *Tom Robb, Math Teacher and SLI Program Director, Winchester Public Schools
    • Kirk Shisler, Vice President for Advancement, Eastern Mennonite University
    • Ann St. Clair Lesman, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Shenandoah University
    • Jason Van Heukelum, Superintendent, Winchester Public Schools
    • Anda Weaver, School Counselor, Harrisonburg City Public Schools
    • Philip Yutzy, Spanish Teacher, Instructional Team Leader, Harrisonburg City Public Schools
    • Margot Marie Zahner, Director, Great Oak Academy, Harrisonburg City Public Schools
    • and anonymous supporters

    *Member, SLI Board of Directors

  • Congratulations to SLI alum Maria!

    Congratulations to SLI alum Maria Garcia Martinez (Harrisonburg High class of 2017), who has been accepted into the nursing program at Blue Ridge Community College. This video about her was created when she was in high school:

  • SLI scholar profile: Noel

    Talk even briefly to SLI scholar Noel, and you’ll quickly figure out that he’s a passionate learner with varied interests, Ivy League goals and a growth mindset. READ MORE