Join this Year’s LSF Masquerade Ball

The Latino Scholarship Fund of Western, MA is excited to invite you to a night of enchantment and philanthropy at our upcoming Masquerade Ball. Get ready to don your most captivating masks and join us for a magical evening filled with laughter, dance, and a touch of mystery.

At this banquet, we will bring our LSF alumni to celebrate and recognize their achievements and to bring the community together. In addition to being a community celebration of alumni accomplishments, the Latino Scholarship Fund views the dinner as an opportunity to publicly recognize individuals, both distinguished and lesser-known, whose work significantly contributes to the vitality, welfare, and future of the Latinx community.

If you have any questions, feel free to message us here or email us at

Join our annual celebration!

Please register to view the virtual event by using this link: It only takes a minute.

At the 30th Annual Latino Scholarship Fund of Western Massachusetts’ Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, June 22 at 7:00 PM we will honor 13 college-bound students, along with two community leaders, at our virtual event, which is free and open to the public.
The event will be moderated by Verónica García, host of the new Univisión program “Viviendo Sin Límites,” and former producer and host of the WGBY Latino television show “Presencia.” The event also features a keynote from Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, former Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and current Distinguished Fellow at Mount Holyoke College, followed by a Question and Answer session moderated by García. The celebration will also include contributions and performances by internationally-recognized artists Yolandita Monge, Olga Tañón, poet Martin Espada, and local young cuatro player, Christian Santiago, as well as special messages from U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey and Massachusetts State Senator Adam Gómez. 

A Scholarship Fund Rooted in Latinx Pride

Thirty-three years ago, a group of teachers and friends sat around a kitchen table feeling frustrated. In their view, Latinx students—mostly from Holyoke—were not receiving enough scholarship support to pursue college educations.

They doubled down and launched the Latino Scholarship Fund, now hosted at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. The Fund has since delivered for local Latinx students, according to the Fund’s board president, Myriam Quiñones.

She credits steady donations, a lawsuit that amplified the students’ educational needs, a signature annual fundraising event, the Community Foundation’s stewardship, and a laser focus Latinx students’ unique strengths and challenges.

2019 scholarship recipient Nashali Pagan addresses the audience (photo by Holyoke Media)
2019 scholarship recipient Nashali Pagan addresses the audience (photo by Holyoke Media)

The Fund’s organizers count hundreds of students across Western Massachusetts, many from Holyoke, who have benefitted from the scholarship fund since 1988. (Each year, six scholarships are earmarked for Holyoke college-bound residents.) In 2020, 12 students received $1,500 scholarships toward their college expenses. Six volunteers, mostly educators, review the applications each year.

Quiñones said, “For more than five decades, Holyoke and Springfield have been the hub for Latino communities—especially Puerto Ricans—in Western Massachusetts. They come here and live, work, and raise their families. And so that’s three or four generations living and working and contributing to the area, now rich in Latino culture.”

It’s not surprising that Quiñones describes the Latino Scholarship Fund’s annual fundraising banquet as a celebration and a social event—with Latinx community pride at its core.

Friends, colleagues, scholarship awardees, and former scholarship recipients gather, eat, and tell stories, all to “keep rooted and maintain our promise to support Latinx students,” she said. “We celebrate the students that receive scholarships from the Fund each year and honor folks who have contributed to the betterment of our Latinx students and the community.”

Myriam Quiñones (at left) and Jossie Valentín, the 2019 Carlos Vega Community Champion awardee (photo via Jossie Valentín)
Myriam Quiñones (at left) and Jossie Valentín, the 2019 Carlos Vega Community Champion awardee (photo via Jossie Valentín)

Two awards are presented annually at the dinner. One is the Carlos Vega Community Champion Award, which honors people who contribute leadership and service to the Latinx community. Quiñones is a 2008 recipient. Another, the Antonia Pantoja Award, honors people who contribute to the Latinx community through research and education.

Quiñones says, “The most beautiful moment of the whole celebration is listening to the scholars’ speeches. Those are the ones that warm your heart. They’re raw, emotional, and deep. It’s breathtaking.”

The Scholarship Fund continues to evolve, layering supports onto financial aid.

Quiñones reports, “We’ve started workshops for scholars on how to prepare—what they need to do to be successful in the process from being accepted to entering college. And we want to continue to follow those students and their stories and to have them come back and serve their communities as board members or as friends of the Fund in one way or another.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scholarship Fund annual celebration was hosted online in 2020 and will be held virtually again in 2021. Ticket information for the June 22 event will be available at Learn more about the Community Foundation’s scholarship program.

LSF Scholarship Banquet

29th Annual Celebration

cordially invites you to its annual dinner in
honor of individuals who have inspired
the Latino community and students
who will become our future leaders


Ticket: $60 per person

Table: $500 per table of 10

28th Annual Celebration

Antonia Pantoja Award for Distinguished Achievement
Angel Nieto
Educator, Social Activist, Poet

Carlos Vega
Community Champion
Jossie Valentin
Holyoke City Councilor


Anna Rigali
Guidance Counselor and Student Advocate

Local 2019 high school graduates will be awarded Latino Scholarship Fund scholarships

Tickets to the event are available for $65.00
Please make checks payable to:
Latino Scholarship Fund
P.0. Box 6706, Holyoke MA 01041-6706