News Column

Hispanic Scholarship Fund Partners With Olive Garden

Feb. 2, 2012

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) and Olive Garden announced today its partnership through the first-ever "Cocinando un Futuro" scholarship program. Ten talented students have been selected as scholarship recipients due to their exemplary passion for culinary arts and academic achievement. Together, the HSF and Olive Garden collaboration empowers Generation 1st Degree, the national movement to raise the Hispanic degree attainment rate to 60 percent by ensuring that every Latino household has at least one college graduate.

The HSF and Olive Garden "Cocinando un Futuro" scholarship program provides scholarships, up to $2,500 per student, to undergraduate minority students who are enrolled full-time at a U.S. accredited college or university during the 2011-2012 academic year. The students were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants interested in culinary arts, who met specific criteria that included attaining a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, demonstrating personal strengths and leadership and have an unmet financial need requiring support in their efforts to obtain a college degree.

Selected Scholarship Recipients

The HSF and Olive Garden are supporting the educational and professional goals of ten talented students with a passion for culinary arts.

-- Michelle Alcantar, California State University-Sacramento, Culinary Arts

and Interior Design

-- Santiago Hernandez, St. Philips College, Culinary Arts

-- Jose Martinez, Johnson & Wales University-Charlotte, Culinary Arts and

Hospitality Administration

-- Estefani Mata, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Business Administration

and Culinary Arts

-- Brenda Mendoza Ortega, Johnson & Wales University-Denver, Culinary Arts

and Biochemistry

-- Vennette Perez, Norwalk Community College, Culinary Arts and Hospitality


-- Diego Recinos, Johnson & Wales University-Florida Campus, Culinary Arts

-- Paulina Sanchez, Arizona State University, Hospitality Administration

and Foreign Languages/Culture

-- Natalie Shepherd, Sullivan University, Culinary Arts

-- Pablo Uruena, Texas Culinary Academy, Culinary Arts

For more information regarding "Cocinando un Futuro," visit

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.