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For A Bright Future Foundation Announces 2022 Dr. Emma Lerew Scholarship Award Winners

Daniela Palacios, Karen Arellano Cruz and Azalea Corral, join a list of high potential scholarship winners

The non-profit organization awards outstanding students pursuing a career in education

MIAMI, Sept. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Louis Hernandez Jr.’s Foundation For A Bright Future is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the needs of underrepresented and underprivileged children through education, healthcare, the arts, and youth leadership development, has awarded the 2022 Dr. Emma Lerew Scholarship to Daniela Palacios, 18, of New Jersey, Karen Arellano-Cruz, 20, of Washington and Azalea Corral, 22, of California.

Daniela Palacios
Daniela Palacios
Karen Arellano-Cruz
Karen Arellano-Cruz
Azalea Corral
Azalea Corral

The charitable organization founded by high-performing, technology focused private equity firm, Black Dragon Capital’s℠ Chairman and CEO, Louis Hernandez Jr., provides scholarships to high potential students in underserved areas focused on children of single parents, veteran families and those pursuing careers in STEAM related fields, healthcare and education.

“The Dr. Emma Lerew Scholarship is named after my mother, who has served as an inspiration as an immigrant herself, who through education created a successful career as an educator.  She dedicated her career to guiding students from underprivileged backgrounds with the goal of helping them excel in their academics so they can eventually become contributing members of their communities. This scholarship is a great steppingstone for high performing students like Azalea, Daniela, and Karen who want to help shape future generations by becoming educators.  As the son of two educators myself, I witnessed firsthand the powerful impact a strong education can have on individuals and their communities.   Azalea, Daniela, and Karen are all outstanding young people, and I’m so very pleased to be able to support them in their educational and life journey.” said Louis Hernandez Jr., Founder and Chairman of the Board, For A Bright Future Foundation.

Daniela Palacios is pursuing her undergraduate degree in Education at Columbia University, where she is majoring in Economics and Political Science. With her degree, she hopes to better understand how to serve communities of color so that she can someday create more equitable school programs for students of color and low-income students. Palacios is also the founder of ‘Para KIDS!’, a small business which creates bilingual children’s literature to promote bilingualism and prevent language barriers from creating a disconnect between the youth and their families.

“Through my studies, research, and social entrepreneurial endeavors, I aim to create a space where all children can reach their academic potential and feel motivated to learn,” says Daniela Palacios.

Karen Arellano-Cruz is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree at Stanford University. She has actively engaged in campaigns advocating to address institutional racism since she was sixteen. Arellano-Cruz is also a founding board member of the ‘Wahluke Illumina Nuestros Suenos’, a nonprofit that delivers free books to children in her community. Her goal is to become the superintendent in her hometown and use the knowledge she gains at Stanford to address the institutional racism and close the educational gap in her district.

“As a teacher, I want to create a safe environment where students do not have to choose between education and their families’ well-being. My classroom will be culturally responsive and inclusive. I will continue to challenge inequitable spaces by addressing institutional racism within our school district, advocating for resources that suit our demographic, and supporting youth in their education,” says Karen Arellano-Cruz.

Azalea Corral is currently studying at the University of California, Riverside. She is enrolled as a full-time student, while working 40 hours a week to support three younger siblings. She is a student coordinator for the Chicano Link Peer Mentor Program at her university, where she helps freshmen Latin students transition into their first year at college. Corral is determined to face any challenge and reach her goal of pursuing a professional career that will allow her to contribute to programs that help students connect with the resources they need to succeed in their studies.

“I am grateful to be receiving the Dr. Emma Lerew Scholarship as it brings me closer to reaching my goal of working in an educational resource center to help provide underrepresented students with the resources that are needed in order to have access to an equitable and inclusive education. I would like to be able to provide tools and support to students to increase the graduation and retention rates of student populations who tend to have lower rates. Both of my parents were educators, so I grew up valuing the importance of education. After losing both parents two years ago, I hope to now honor them by following in their footsteps as an educator,” says Azalea Corral.

“Each year, I’m inspired to learn of the applicant turnout for the For A Bright Future Foundation Dr. Emma Lerew Scholarship.  I’m thrilled to see so many highly qualified underprivileged and underrepresented students who want to pursue a career in education and make an impact in their community.   I spent most of my career focused on improving the lives of others through education and am delighted to see the next generation of difference makers benefit from the For A Bright Future Foundation efforts.  Our children and communities need each one of these fine recipients to succeed!” says Dr. Emma Lerew, Board Member and Executive Program Director, For A Bright Future Foundation.

This year the foundation received a record number of applications to review.  We would like to thank Susie Hernandez, Board Member and Chair of the Scholarship Committee, and our volunteers for serving on the scholarship selection committee.  We would like to give special thanks to Casey Richardson, PhD College and Career Readiness Coordinator, Pueblo High School. 

We also would like to thank the operational team led by Gina Rogoto, Director of Operations, for their incredible efforts to source candidates across the country and facilitate the process.

Gina Rogoto, Director of Operations
Louis Hernandez Jr.’s Foundation For A Bright Future
Email: [email protected]

About Louis Hernandez Jr.’s Foundation For A Bright Future

Louis Hernandez Jr.’s Foundation For A Bright Future is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the needs of underrepresented and underprivileged children through education, healthcare, the arts, and youth leadership development. Our initiatives provide equal opportunity for all children to have the tools and opportunities to fulfill their life goals and become constructive members of our global community. Learn more at

To learn more or support For A Bright Future educational programs please visit our donation page at

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SOURCE Louis Hernandez Jr.’s Foundation For A Bright Future