Roger Palma has a college education and what he considers a good job. He says he was fortunate to have parents that could afford to send him to school, but the also encourage him to give back to the community
Helping families find a way to send their kids to school is how he's helping out. His organization, provided $30,000 in scholarships in 2013 for 25 to 30 families. The money raised for scholarships and grants is provided by Vernon College, Midwestern State University, and WFISD.
Roger Palma is the president of the non profit organization known as Zavala. Its purpose is to help families in the Hispanic community find a way to send kids to college that otherwise have very little hope.
"My dad always asked me what have I done for the community?" " It's great that I'm doing ok, but I want to help out my peers in the Hispanic community."
Helping families find a way to send their kids to school is how he's helping out.
"We mentor the kids with an educator that teaches the kids what they need to do. We provide funds to put those programs together."
Palma's organization provided $30,000 in scholarships in 2013 for 25 to 30 families. The money raised for scholarships and grants is provided by Vernon College, Midwestern State University, and WFISD.
Other money comes from events the group puts on like Calle Ocho. However, the majority of the money comes from donations from local businesses.
He says, "The web of trying to get to college is challenging and a lot of parents don't know where to start. That's where Zavala comes in, telling the students what they need to do to get financial aid or to look for grants or scholarships."
The work Palma puts in may be long and hard, but he says it's all worth it when he see's the look on these families faces when they find out their kid will have an opportunity for an education. "The kids screams 'I'm going to college' they hug and they cry and it makes you feel better."
Palma has two kids of his own. One is in college and another that's in high school, but will be going to college when she graduates. He says both of them are also very involved in community service.