All Articles

For A Bright Future Foundation Announces 2023 STEAM Scholarship Award Winners

The Foundation recognizes Rosa Flores Bautista, Yen Do, Evan Lu, and Juan Espinal-Mejia for as exceptional scholars of the year who are ardently pursuing degrees in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM)

MIAMI, Dec. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Louis Hernandez Jr.’s Foundation For A Bright Future (“For A Bright Future”) (“FABF”), 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, awarded its 2023 STEAM Scholarships to Rosa Flores Bautista, 18, of California; Yen Do, 23, of California; Evan Lu, 18, of Philadelphia; and Juan Espinal-Mejia, 23, of Florida.

The 2023 For A Bright Future STEAM Scholarship Awardees (L-R): Rosa Flores Bautista, Yen Do, Evan Lu, and Juan Espinal-Mejia.
The 2023 For A Bright Future STEAM Scholarship Awardees (L-R): Rosa Flores Bautista, Yen Do, Evan Lu, and Juan Espinal-Mejia.

The charitable organization was founded by Louis Hernandez, Jr., CEO of Black Dragon Capital℠, a multi-phased investment firm focused on advanced technologies in high-growth segments that strengthen economic stability within communities. Committed to illuminating the path toward success, For A Bright Future provides scholarships with an emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics), financial technology, healthcare, and education. These opportunities are especially tailored to uplift students from underserved demographics, including those from single-parent households and families with military backgrounds.

“Born and raised in a marginalized and overlooked community, I’ve personally witnessed and endured the unique social and economic pressures that children who grow up in these communities face. For A Bright Future Foundation was created to open doors of educational opportunities for these promising young individuals that could significantly transform their lives. It aims to aid them in realizing their inherent potential, thus enabling them to contribute positively to their community.. The inspiring stories from this ‘ ‘year’s STEAM Scholarship recipients serve as a testament to this mission. Their achievements fill us with immense pride, and we eagerly anticipate their onward journey in education, illuminating their path towards a promising tomorrow,” said Louis Hernandez Jr., Founder and Chairman of the Board, FABF.

Rosa Flores Bautista

Rosa Flores Bautista is currently a high school student at the Maywood Center for Enriched Studies and will ‘take up abachelor’s degree in Sociology at Yale University upon graduating. Through her degree, she hopes to become well-versed in racial inequality, class, gender, family dynamics, and general poverty. The knowledge she gains will be applied to creating meaningful discourse and moving toward possible solutions to these systemic inequalities in the future. As the daughter of an immigrant parent who suddenly passed away due to limited access to healthcare, Bautista is determined to create someday change that will benefit her community and all other underrepresented people like them.

“I’m honored to be receiving this award and how its help will allow me to prosper in my academic studies and beyond,” says Rosa Flores Bautista.

Yen Do

Yen Do is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley). Her dream is to someday work for NASA while being a leader and advocate for the aerospace community. Growing up in a small agricultural town in Vietnam and then migrating with her family to the US in the hopes of finding a better life, Do knows how valuable a proper education can be. In the future, she hopes to be able to lead an outreach program targeting local communities in Southern California and partnering up with local high schools and community colleges to help underprivileged youths get back on track toward pursuing a better future for themselves. After earning her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a master’s program in Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona.

“Winning the 2023 For A Bright Future STEAM Scholarship serves as a powerful testament to my resilience and dedication as someone from an underrepresented background pursuing engineering and recognition of my potential to accomplish great things in the future,” says Yen Do.

Evan Lu

Evan Lu is currently a high school student at the Academy at Palumbo High School and will ‘ ‘take up a bachelor’s degree in Electrical E’s electrical engineering at Drexel University upon graduating. His career goal is to become a nuclear fusion engineer who can lead novel scientific efforts beneficial to society, such as providing cheaper energy options to underdeveloped countries and leveraging a more sustainable energy source for space exploration. Lu’s fascination with science began at an early age, and has taken part in numerous extracurricular activities to broaden his knowledge. These include the National Honors Society, environmental club, robotics club, and the Young Leader Summit, among others. Having been raised in an impoverished neighborhood, Lu is determined to pursue higher learning to give back to his family and his community. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering after finishing his five-year co-op undergraduate program.

“Thank you, FABF. Your contribution fuels the future of the next generation, guiding them to illuminate the path into the unknown,” says Evan Lu.

Juan Espinal-Mejia

Juan Espinal-Mejia is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology with a focus on Biocomputation at Stanford University. He will be pursuing graduate studies in Biomedical Informatics upon graduating. As an aspiring biomedical researcher, Espinal-Mejia aims to enable scientists to analyze large data sets, conduct complex statistical analyses, and identify patterns and correlations. Espinal-Mejia has volunteered as a Spanish interpreter at a free clinic. Seeing how much can still be improved, he also hopes to serve his community by providing them with enhanced patient care, disease prevention, and surveillance, contribution to research advancements, and health education.

“”This award means so much to me as it helps me pursue my goal in furthering my education in STEM. As a first generation, this award means a lot to me,” says Juan Espinal-Mejia.

“For A Bright Future Foundation is committed to giving students from under resourced groups an equal chance to access education that could help them overcome their financial struggles and lead them toward a more promising life. It is always inspiring to witness so many young people who are eager to bring about positive change within their communities and build a bright future for themselves and their loved ones. The reality is that education opens many doors for the future and I am confident that this ‘ ‘year’s STEAM Scholarship awardees will be able to make the most out of  this opportunity,” said Susie Hernandez, Board Member and Chair of the Scholarship Committee, For A For A Bright Future Foundation

Every year, the Foundation receives a growing number of applications to review.  This year, we received a landmark total of 3,900 applications. 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.

Scholarship selection team includes:

  • Patrick Macdonald-King, CEO of Greenlane
  • Jennifer Oddo, Sr. Director, Corporate Marcomm & Strategic Operations of ESI Technologies
  • Mark Jaundoo, Chief Digital Officer of Amerant Bank
  • Cindy Abramson, Independent Executive/Operations Consultant
  • Rashid Desai, CIO – Data & Analytics and Chief Engineer at NAB
  • Irwin Kramer, Tech Entrepreneur and PE Investor
  • Tracey Shaw, Founder and CEO of Digital Joy
  • Matthew Arrowood, Global Marketing Manager of Rev1 Energy
  • Kristi Arrowood, Land Compliance Analyst of BP
  • Taphat Tawil, Entertainment Professional
  • Angela Jacobs, Finance Manager at Isos Capital Management
  • Paul Giacalone, President of Investments at Moore & Cabot
  • Joe Dugan, Financial Consultant at Dugan’s Consulting

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

Gina Rogoto, Director of Operations and Development
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

For more information: or follow us on LinkedInXFacebook, and Instagram.

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