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Brownsville Scholars Program Seeks to Expand Higher Ed Access

Mike Hernandez III

A Brownsville, Texas, native, Micheal Albert (Mike) Hernandez III has spent several decades building the successful Dallas-area business D & M Leasing. Aside from his professional accomplishments, Mike Hernandez III is a philanthropist who has donated to various nonprofits and initiatives, including a $1 million founding gift to the Brownsville Scholars Program.

Poverty rates are high in southern Texas, and Brownsville was dubbed the “Poorest City in America” as recently as 2013. College graduation rates are low, with only 10 percent of economically disadvantaged students who finish eighth grade going on to complete a college degree. In order to work toward the goal of making higher education more accessible and affordable to students of low income, the Brownsville Scholars Program funds tuition, housing in dedicated “living-learning communities,” and enrichment programs for its scholarship winners.
Current funding will cover the first four classes of scholarship recipients through 2020, but donors are needed to fund the program on an ongoing basis. Individuals or organizations can make gifts of $25,000 to fund an internship endowment, $125,000 to fund a scholarship endowment, or $500,000 to fund a living-learning community endowment.

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