Why We Need Your Support

When you support Our Time Has Come Scholarships, you help create a pathway of success for high-achieving students like Leslie Sanchez ’18. She served a student co-chair of CBT 2017.

Photo: Leslie Sanchez '18

Bronx native Leslie Sanchez ’18 is an information management and technology major with a minor in finance. She is also a first generation student. Sanchez, who has studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, comes from a low-income single parent household of six people. She says the knowledge that she will leave college almost debt-free thanks to her Our Time Has Come (OTHC) Scholarship, which means a lot to her mom who knows she would not be able to help support her daughter.

“The financial support provided to me had allowed to me focus more on my studies,” says Sanchez. “It helped decrease the mental stress of worrying about how I am going to pay back the loans I have taken out for college.

Even more meaningful to Sanchez, who was crowned Miss Caribfest 2017 at a pageant hosted by the Caribbean Student Association where she represented Dominican Republic, is that the OTHC Scholarship means family.

“Although financial assistance is important, what’s more important to me is the continuous support and family-oriented atmosphere offered to me by the Office of Program Development throughout my time as an OTHC scholar,” says Sanchez who receives the Frank L. Carmona Scholarship & DeLuca Charitable Trust Scholarship for African American and Latino students. “Behind every successful person is a support system that they relied on. Coming from a small family, having their support was sacred and important to me.”

Dedicated to her studies the OTHC scholarship has allowed Sanchez to pursue other extracurricular activities. She loves to dance and is a member of Raices Dance Troupe. She has also pursued modeling and acting, participated in various student fashion shows and photo shoots throughout her time on the Hill. Sanchez says the support of our alumni donors makes studying abroad and these other outside activities possible for her and the other scholars.

“The OTHC scholarship has helped students in so many ways,” says Sanchez. “From allowing students to continue pursuing their degree at Syracuse University to other cases where students can have the opportunity to focus more on their studies or be more involved on campus. Your contributions will not only have an immediate and direct impact, they will continue the legacy of OTHC and inspire other alumni of color to give back.”

Another group Sanchez is deeply involved with is BLISTS, the Black and Latino Information Studies Technology Support. Sanchez is the vice president and treasurer. BLISTS is a student-run organization that focuses on educating African American and Latino students, as well as students from other populations, about information science and technology. The organization, which extends from undergraduate and graduate programs provides computer literacy support and continuously builds a corporate and alumni network.

“BLISTS has helped me create a family at the iSchool,” says Sanchez. “As there are not many people of color in the iSchool, it has helped me feel comfortable knowing there are people who look like me and share similar backgrounds. Three principles we live by are networking, supporting, and mentoring.”

BLISTS celebrates its 25th birthday this year and will have BLISTSful Evening on Saturday, April 28, 2018. This special day will be a reunion between their alumni and current members. The organization will host a series of workshops, a past presidents’ panel, and a night of dinner and dancing. Anyone who supports the BLISTS mission is welcome. You can see a complete schedule of events and register now.

Join us in helping build the next generation of proud Orange alumni—give today!

Meet our current OTHC scholars and watch some of their stories below: