Spanish American Institute (SAI) is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational assistance to Hispanic students in Southern California. Since 1909, when it was established as a boarding school teaching vocational skills to local Mexican boys, SAI has adapted both its structure and its programs to meet the changing needs of the Hispanic community in Southern California. SAI currently offers college and vocational scholarships. SAI’s unique combination of stability and flexibility has proven successful through the years and has helped thousands of Hispanic students to REACH FOR THE STARS! SAI has granted over $160,000 in scholarships to over 260 students between 2008 and 2018. Since SAI has been giving scholarships since the 1970’s, over $1M of scholarships have been awarded.
As one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the United States, Hispanics under the age of 25 are becoming a crucial part of the American social network. It is essential that these young people have access to the preparation they need to become productive, successful adults, capable of meeting the challenges of modern life.
It is widely agreed that a key element of such preparation is quality education. Unfortunately, a solid education has become increasingly difficult for many Hispanic students to obtain, as inner city schools struggle both with increased enrollment and severe per pupil budget cuts. Overburdened teachers are unable to assist students with special educational needs (for example, those whose home language is not English). University tuition costs have skyrocketed, and virtually all colleges struggle to maintain their financial aid programs. Many motivated, intelligent Hispanic students encounter two principal obstacles to attaining higher education degrees: inadequate academic preparation and debilitating financial impediments. SAI hopes to make higher education a reality for those in our community.