Esperanza, Inc. (meaning “hope”), began in the early 1980s as a community project to improve the educational opportunities for Hispanics by motivating and recognizing academic achievement through scholarships. As Ohio’s only nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and advancing Hispanic educational achievement, its founders recognized the need to expand the services by adding programs to address more of the educational needs of the community. Esperanza awarded its first college scholarship in 1983. Since then, Esperanza has grown steadily and is now able to award over 80 college scholarships every year through the support of corporations, foundations, and individual donors.
Esperanza has taken a leadership role in advocating on behalf of Hispanics and developing and assisting in the implementation of educational policy statements. By establishing linkages between community leaders, organizations, and educational institutions, Esperanza, Inc. represents a model for overcoming educational barriers and ensuring quality education through community action.