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Esperanza brings hope to community through education

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 6:31 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Victor Ruiz is the executive director for Esperanza. It’s a nonprofit organization on the west side of Cleveland. The word esperanza means hope.

“Growing up as a poor son of a single mother, the only thing we had was hope, esperanza,” said Ruiz.

The organization’s mission is to promote hope through education, helping families in the Latino community thrive.

“The community realized it wasn’t enough to just promote post-secondary that they really had to do hands-on programming,” said Ruiz.

Esperanza has classes for teaching English as a second language; they have a mentorship program, they hand out scholarships. They also put on programs to help students graduate high school and push them toward college and higher learning.

“Early in my college career, I got matched with a mentor through the mentorship program,” said Ricky Gilmore-Vega. “My mentor did an amazing job helping me navigate through college and also the law school admissions process. “

The resources at Esperanza can also be utilized by parents and other family members in the community.

“Hopefully, a lot of parents will see the opportunities they have and pursue some sort of post-secondary education,” said Ruiz.

“When I see families here with their kids, and they come here and are like we need help, there’s never a closed-door,” said Nashalié Diaz. “And if it’s not, we try to open it for them and to see that it means hope, its esperanza. "

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