Felipe’s Taqueria Announces Son of a Saint $40,000 Scholarship Program
NEW ORLEANS – Felipe’s Taqueria has partnered with Pinkberry New Orleans and Son of a Saint to award college scholarships up to $40,000 to team members who are involved in the nonprofit organization’s mentorship youth development program. Last month, Felipe’s awarded its first recipient, Son of a Saint mentee Javier Castellon.
“Receiving this scholarship on my 18th birthday in August was the most incredible gift I could’ve received,” said Castellon. “I joined Son of a Saint when I was just 9 years old, following my older brother Alejandro’s footsteps. I’ve been with Pinkberry since I was 15, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the community and opportunity that’s been provided to me from both organizations.”
Now a senior at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Javier studies media arts and maintains a 4.1 GPA. Following graduation, Javier plans to study architecture in college and actively pursue it as his career.
“Both Felipe’s and Pinkberry have employed numerous boys we mentor. This partnership models our approach of sticking with our young men for the long haul and walking with them through their journey into adulthood,” says Son of a Saint Founder & CEO Bivian “Sonny” Lee III. “We can’t wait to see them all on their various graduation days several years from now, as they pursue their goals and aspirations to become some of the best leaders and achievers to come out of New Orleans. We can’t thank Felipe’s enough for this commitment to our young men as well as the community of Greater New Orleans.”
The $10k yearly college scholarship is a recurring award that’s given to a chosen Son of a Saint mentee who’s been employed at Felipe’s or Pinkberry, then goes on to study at a four-year university. The mentee must also maintain at least a 3.0 GPA during his academic years to continue receiving the yearly scholarship amount.
In total, the awarded mentee can earn up to $40,000 in Felipe’s scholarship funding. Felipe’s recently selected St. Augustine High School student Zander Dunbar as its second scholarship recipient. The 16 year old has a 4.0 GPA and is considered a model student among his peers. Felipe’s will continue selecting the next Son of a Saint mentee to take part in the scholarship program over the coming semesters and years.
The partnership between Son of a Saint and Felipe’s dates back to 2013 when the company began donating funds and food along with sponsoring the nonprofit’s Black & Gold Softball game. Felipe’s HR Director Lon Nichols was named a Son of a Saint Mentor of the Year in 2014.
“Turning our friendship into a partnership to benefit the growth and development of young men in New Orleans has been a wonderful experience,” said Nichols. “At Felipe’s, we’re all about community and we strongly believe in the mission behind Son of a Saint. Whether working a shift here or participating in the program there, we’re ensuring we provide an opportunity for professional advancement and building confidence within the next generation’s leaders.”
For more information on the scholarship program, visit sonofasaint.org.