The president of the Hispanic College Fund (HCF) announced Tuesday she will resign from the position she has held since 2007.
Idalia Fernandez joined the HCF as a volunteer 10 years ago and became a scholarship program manager. Since then she has helped the organization’s revenue and programming grow. She moved up to vice president, then chief operating officer in 2001 and was named president two years ago.
“We have transformed this organization from a scholarship-granting entity to an organization that offers targeted, effective support to Hispanic students through all stages of their education,” Fernandez said.
During her tenure, HCF’s signature education programs were inaugurated, including the Hispanic Youth Symposium and NASA’s Motivating Undergraduates in Science and Technology (MUST) program. The HCF has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to needy Latino high school students aspiring to higher education.
Fernandez said she has been planning her resignation for nearly 18 months and is looking for new challenges – such as pursuing a doctorate or a new corporate job – now that the organization is strong.”The organization has been in good shape. I feel like my job is done when I can step away,” she said. The Honduran-born Latina was the first in her family to attend college, which informed and personalized her work in opening college opportunities for Latinos.
“Everything we’ve worked on has been focused on the needs of the students. That is what has made our program successful,” Fernandez said. “At the heart of what we do is asking what I needed to know when I was a student that can help young people today get a leg up.”