UMKC a Top Choice for 2024 Hispanic Development Fund Scholarship Recipients

Campus event at Henry W. Bloch School of Management honors hundreds

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is once again a top choice for high school and returning students who received Hispanic Development Fund scholarships for the next academic year.

This year, the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund awarded a record-breaking $1.2 million dollars in scholarship funds to 509 recipients. Of those, 125 represent new and returning scholars at UMKC.

The Hispanic Development Fund (HDF) awarded its first scholarships in 1984, providing $100 each to 100 students through a separately named Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

UMKC hosted the scholars and their families at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management for the second straight year. Lauren Orozco (B.B.A. ’23) played a large role in organizing this year’s event. As a former HDF scholar, she understands the lasting impact this scholarship program can have.

Elizabeth Montelongo (left) and Lauren Orozco (right) dance during the reception portion of the evening.

The Hispanic Development Fund gave me a valuable and connecting community that helped prepare me for life after I graduated,” said Orozco, who now serves as an admissions counselor at the Bloch school. “That is the lasting mark the Hispanic Development Fund has on their students. They aren't just providing them a scholarship but with a community that will continue to grow and give back.”

During this year’s event, students received detailed information about their opportunities and the partnering organizations, but one of the most important elements of the event was the opportunity for the students and their families to celebrate their success.

Sophomore Marlon Perez-Morales poses with his mother

Marlon Perez-Morales is a sophomore studying business administration with an emphasis in finance.

“The connections I’ve made through HDF have made a big difference early in my college career. I’m also involved as a mentor and can tell other students about HDF and give back to them.”

Senior Phillip St. John (right) celebrates with classmates.

Phillip St. John is a senior studying business administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. He’s also a second-generation HDF scholar. His father, and UMKC alumnus, Steven St. John (B.A. ’96) was also an HDF scholar and now hosts the popular sports morning show “Border Patrol” on 810 WHB. Knowing the impact HDF can have, he pointed his son toward the program. 

“I’ve been an HDF scholar each year here at UMKC,” the younger St. John said. “The financial assistance has been important but the connections I’ve made through this program have had the biggest impact.”

Lilah Crum Barnhill (left) poses alongside fellow HDF Scholar Daniel Rodriguez Perez

Lilah Crum Barnhill is a junior studying philosophy and French.

“The Hispanic Development has given me an amazing community support system,” Barnhill said. “Receiving this continued financial support as a returning HDF scholar has ensured my success here at UMKC.”


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