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National PR Parade Launches 2017 Scholarship Program & TeeRico Shirt

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) today launched its 2017 Scholarship Awards Program, breaking the organization's all-time record for total number and dollar amount of scholarships to be awarded.

In 2017, NPRDP will award 100 scholarships valued at $2,000 each, for a total $200,000, to exceptional students of Puerto Rican descent that are making a difference in their communities. Applicants must be high school seniors or full-time college/university students. The highest dollar amount of scholarships awarded in NPRDP's history, 2017 marks a significant milestone in the organization's ongoing commitment to promoting the pursuit of higher education in the Puerto Rican and Latino community.

NPRDP Scholarship Awardees 2016 with members of NPRDP's Education Committee.
Photo by Vincent Villafañe.

"When we assumed leadership in 2014, the NPRDP board of directors set a goal to increase the number of scholarships awarded from 15 that year to 100 by the year 2017. I am thrilled and proud to confirm we are delivering on that promise. I thank all of our partners and supporters who have helped make this possible", said Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, Chairperson of NPRDP.

To be eligible to participate in NPRDP's 2017 Scholarship Program, applicants must meet the following criteria:

Be of Puerto Rican descent;
Have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better, or the equivalent high school grade;
Be a high school senior or freshman through junior in college, ages of 17 through 25;
Be enrolled in an accredited two or four year college/university, for college students;
Have a track record of doing volunteer work or community service;
Participate in an interview with a member(s) of the scholarship selection committee.

NPRDP Scholarship Fund's TeeRico Shirt
Cortés-Vázquez also announced a special partnership with award-winning actor, singer, composer and writer Lin-Manuel Miranda, to create a specially designed National Puerto Rican Day Scholarship Fund TeeRicoShirt, for the popular t-shirt and accessory line launched by the artist. Proceeds from the specially designed t-shirt will benefit NPRDP's Scholarship Fund.

"We are very excited about this new collaboration and extremely grateful to Lin-Manuel for his support of the NPRDP's Scholarship Program", Cortés-Vázquez said.

The t-shirt available in black and grey colors is now available for $29 at teerico.com (@teerico_linman).

NPRDP Scholarship Application packages must include: a completed application form; an essay; a written biography; two letters of recommendation, of which one letter of recommendation must be from the site where the student performs his/her volunteer work; official academic transcripts and a head shot photo. Letters of recommendation should be requested from teachers, professors, counselors, mentors, clergy, community leaders, etc. The letters should highlight the applicant's volunteer community service, length of the relationship with the candidate, and the specific contributions the applicant has made to the community.

Applications are available for download at www.nprdpinc.org. Candidates must submit completed applications, essays and biographies electronically to NPRDP.Scholars@gmail.com by Monday, February 20, 2017. Letters of recommendation and sealed transcripts should be mailed together to National Puerto Rican Day Parade, P.O Box 975, New York, NY 10272 by Monday, February 27, 2017. Materials received after this date will result in the applicant's disqualification.

NPRDP established the Scholarship Program to promote the pursuit of higher education in the Puerto Rican community. In 2016, NPRDP awarded $120,000 to 60 students, up from $60,000 (30 scholarships) awarded in 2015 and $30,000 (15 scholarships) awarded in 2014.

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