CIELO Founding History
The Culturally Integrated Education for Latinos Organization (CIELO) is a successor to the Central Illinois Chapter of National IMAGE, Inc. (IMAGE). Both organizations were organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. The mission of IMAGE was to promote the Latino community through education, employment, and civil rights. Part of this mission included serving as advocate for individuals in the community faced with specific cases of prejudice or discrimination. However, activities over the years related to the advocacy goals of the local chapter diminished to the point of being essentially non-existent.
The geographic area represented by the local chapter of IMAGE also extended well beyond a 100 mile radius of the city of Springfield, Illinois and well beyond the geographic area within which the organization received its financial support. IMAGE funding was received from individual or organization donations that originated from within about a 45 mile radius of Springfield, IL with over 95% coming from within the city of Springfield, IL itself. Furthermore, all of the organization’s funding was raised by fundraising activities created to support the scholarship activities of the organization or generated by and in support of its cultural events.
Since the predominant activities over the final years of the local chapter of IMAGE didn’t fully encompass all of the elements of the mission of the national organization, it was decided by the Executive Board that it was more appropriate to create an independent organization with a mission statement that more closely matched the actual activities of the Executive Board and the organization. Furthermore, since the source of funding for these activities originated almost exclusively from the immediate area of Springfield, IL, it was decided that it would be more appropriate to also reduce the geographic area represented by the organization to more closely correspond with the geographic area of those funding sources. As a result, the Executive Board of the local chapter of IMAGE decided in 2010 to create CIELO with a mission statement that more appropriately fit the perceived local needs of the Latino community and represent a geographic area that reflected their sources of funding. CIELO received their 501(c)(3) recognition from the Federal Internal Revenue Service in 2011.
Since then, CIELO has assumed the responsibility to fund and award scholarships associated with the Victor A. and Daisy A. Juarez Latino Scholarship program, a program originally started by IMAGE. Furthermore, CIELO has undertaken to continue the voluntary cooperative relationship with the Community Foundation of the Land of Lincoln (CFLL), formerly the Sangamon County Community Foundation (a 501(c)(3)), in regards to what is now named the “Culturally Integrated Education for Latinos Organization (CIELO) Medical Scholarship Fund.” This fund was originally funded by IMAGE under the name “National Image, Inc., Central Illinois Chapter Medical Scholarship.”
CIELO also continues to support the cultural events initiated by the Illinois Chapter of National IMAGE, Inc.
The mission of CIELO is very similar to the original IMAGE organization in that it is dedicated to promoting the education, employment, and culture of Latino Americans. Although it is considered within the scope of the mission of CIELO to challenge social and ethic discrimination wherever and whenever encountered against the Latino community, we do not serve as advocate for individuals in the community faced with specific cases of prejudice or discrimination. The most significant emphasis of CIELO is raising funds to support the awarding of educational scholarships to Latinos which was the most significant emphasis of the local chapter of IMAGE.