CIELO 2015 Accomplishments

Our Victor A. and Daisy A. Juarez Latino Scholarship program once again awarded three $1500 scholarships to local Latinos. We also awarded a $1000 scholarship to a Latina pursuing a medical related degree through a fund we established with the Community Foundation of the Land of Lincoln. In 2016, scholarships awarded by this fund will increase to $2500.

CIELO, Inc. was a sponsor of the 2nd Annual Springfield YMCA Hispanic Heritage Family Festival. We also assisted Lincoln Land Community College by promoting their presentation of Dr. Mario Masvidal Saavedra “U.S.A. vs. Cuba?  A Love Story.”  Dr. Masvidal is a linguistics professor at the University of the Arts, as well as a radio and TV host in Havana, Cuba. We assisted the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS) at UIS by promoting their Hispanic Heritage Month lecture on the Mexican muralist movement.  The guest speaker was Eric Garcia who is a wonderful artist and works at the National Museum of Mexican Arts in Chicago. We also helped the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum by promoting their presentation of the newly appointed United States Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera.

CIELO, Inc. assisted the UIS Illinois Innocence Project by extending our support for the formation of the Latino Innocence Initiative and their efforts to recruit qualified Latino applicants for staff attorneys. The purpose of the Initiative is to address unique vulnerabilities that Latinos face that lead to wrongful conviction of the innocent and difficulties in obtaining exoneration. We also extended our support for Illinois Representative Elizabeth Hernandez’s Student Access bill to provide legal authority to 4-year public universities in Illinois to provide financial aid to undocumented students who enroll at their institutions.
The Latino book and cooking clubs continue to reinforce a sense of Latino culture in our community. Finally, Salsa Nights has found a new permanent venue at Omar’s Latin Fusion Restaurant. Chris Dettro of the Illinois State Journal-Register wrote a wonderful article about our dance and new venue. The response to the monthly dance has been phenomenal.

Ongoing – The CIELO organization implemented the CIELO Latin Cooking Club to promote Latino cooking quisine amoung the members of the organization.

Ongoing – The CIELO organization continued the general Latino scholarship program initiated by the predicessor central Illinois chapter of National IMAGE, Inc, dedicating the program as the Victor A. and Daisy A. Juarez Latino Scholarship Program with the award of three $1500 scholarships.

Ongoing – The CIELO organization continued to support the collaboration with the now named Community Foundation of Lincoln Land’s IMAGE Medical Scholarshp Program renaming it the CIELO Medical Scholarship Program. We hope to award another $1500 scholarship, renewable for up to two years, to a student pursuing a medically related degree at a school based in Sangamon County.
September, 2011 – The CIELO organization received it’s official 501(c)(3) non-profit exemption from the Internal Revenue Service.
As the organization continues to mature, we will add additional achievements here on this page.