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ESPERANZA, INC.

ESPERANZA, INC., Motivating Hispanic Youth, is a youth organization founded in 1983 by a group of community leaders interested in the education of Hispanics. Originally known as the Cleveland Hispanic Scholarship Fund (CHSF), Esperanza promoted post-secondary education in the Hispanic community through "stay in school" and mentorship programs. Cleveland City Hall made space available for meetings, while fundraising activities and private donations helped award the first scholarship in 1983 and keep the CHSF afloat. Funding provided by the MARTHA HOLDEN JENNINGS FOUNDATION, CLEVELAND FOUNDATION, and GUND FOUNDATIONS enabled the CHSF to establish an office at 4115 Bridge Ave. on Cleveland's west side. In 1989 the CHSF changed its name to Esperanza, reflecting the hope or "esperanza" it offered the community through expanded programs and services. William Senquiz was the first executive director.

Esperanza's Stay in School for College and Career Opportunities program (SISCO) encourages Hispanic 7th and 8th graders to stay in school through tutoring and an after-school enrichment program. In 1990 Esperanza inaugurated the Fiesta of Hope Scholarship Award, which by 1995 was the main source of discretionary funds supporting Esperanza's educational programs. By 1994 Esperanza's mentorship program had paired over 90 Hispanic high school students with volunteer mentors who help students with academic development, career exploration, and life planning. In 1994 Esperanza awarded scholarships totaling $27,250. In 1995 the executive director of Esperanza was William Arroyo.