“I experienced poverty myself growing up. That’s one of the things that’s driven me,”
Jimenez told the reporter.
His university publication was doing a profile story on him, and for good reason. He had just won one of the most prestigious scholarships in the country, adding to his already impressive resume of academic excellence. Thoughtful, driven, and fiercely bright, Jimenez gives the distinct impression that his impact on his community, and the world at large, is just beginning.
One of only 62 recipients in the United States, Augustine Jimenez was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship earlier this year for his preeminence in the study of public service at Boston University. Raised in Atlanta, Jimenez experienced firsthand the struggles that students from low-income families face academically due to their parents rigorous work schedules.
“People have to work around the clock to pay for food and utilities,” he told BU Today. “They don’t get to be around their children.”
It's a problem parents in our community have faced for decades, and for too long students' schoolwork suffered through no fault of their own. Luckily, Augustine's mother discovered an educational support system right in her backyard that pledged to ensure that her son would graduate high school and go on to college.
She discovered LaAmistad.
"LaAmistad really built a foundation for me when it came to broadening my horizons," Augustine said, "to see that there was something else out there besides the neighborhoods I grew up in, where parents who give so much don't have time to spend with their families."
Upon securing a Law degree, Jimenez plans to return to Georgia and endeavor to influence public policy for the betterment of students and families facing the same challenges he did.
"I came to LaAmistad and I was nurtured intellectually, they helped me to open up, and they created a community of students that I still know to this day." said Jimenez. "for me, it's about trying to make my success about more than just myself, and trying to give back to organizations like LaAmistad in the future."
We could not be more proud of the man Augustine has become. But more than the scholarships, the accolades, or his laundry list of academic achievements, LaAmistad is inspired by his commitment to making our city a better place for low-income students and families.
This holiday season, we're asking our supporters to follow this young man's example by giving back to those who need it most.
Can LaAmistad students and families count on you?