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The mission of KHEDF is to provide resources to Hispanic students exploring post-secondary education and career readiness.

Turning college dreams
into college degrees.

The 2024 khedf scholars we serve

83%

of the scholars are
on free & reduced meals

83%

of the scholars are
first-generation students

94%

of the students have chosen a Kansas college or university, fueling an educated workforce in the state.

Welcome to the Kansas Hispanic Education & Development Foundation (KHEDF)! We're thrilled to continue our mission of supporting young Hispanic students in the Wichita area through scholarships and educational initiatives this year. Since our establishment, we've awarded over a million dollars in scholarships to more than 620 Hispanic students. In 2024, of the fifty-two scholarships granted through the Kansas Hispanic Scholarship Program, eighty-three percent were awarded to students on free and reduced meals, and eighty-three percent were first-generation students.

student success story

larissa Lira

I am Larissa Lira, a first generation college student, DACA Recipient, and a KHEDF scholar
since 2020. With resilience and determination, I managed to graduate a year and a half earlier
from Wichita State University and became part of the Class of 2023. Spending countless hours
completing assignments, attending classes, and studying, I recently earned a Bachelor of Arts in
Communication Sciences and Disorders, a double minor in Spanish and Signed Languages,
following a Certificate in Spanish for the Professions. Although each semester consisted of 16
plus college credit hours, I made it a priority to stay involved on campus because that is the way I
wanted to give back to my community. My involvement on campus consisted of being a Teacher
Assistant at the WSU Child Development Center, the Director of Academics for Lambda Pi
Upsilon Sorority, Latinas Poderosas Unidas, Inc., forming part of the first cohort for Latinos
Lead, and an active member of HALO and WSUSSLHA, which stands for Wichita State
University Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Through my involvement, not only
did I learn interpersonal skills, confidence, and adaptability, but I also gained a family. The
support system that surrounded me when I stepped out of my comfort zone was and continues to
be priceless. There were various times when I felt like I would never be able to make ends meet,
however, certain individuals would look at me and say, “Larissa, you can do this and so much
more… I believe in you!” My support systems at school and at home never let me settle for less
and this is why I am here today. My parents have offered everything in their possession in order
to make my dream come true and without them, I would not be here. As I close a chapter of great
accomplishments I can never get tired of thanking the Man upstairs for the support systems I
have been blessed with. The next chapter consists of continuing my education at WSU for a
Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology. As a proud KHEDF scholar, I will continue to
represent this family because I too one day sat in the back hoping to get to that finish line and
here I am today showing you with my work ethic, that you too can accomplish this and so much
more. Thank you!

fernanda reyes

My name is Fernanda Reyes, I have been a part of KHEDF since I received the Irma Luna Scholarship in 2018. I have now achieved my goal of starting my career at the University of Kansas medical school and I am honored that through the Irma Luna Alumni Award once again KHEDF supports me in the great challenge that awaits me as a doctor.

Since I was little, the person who asked me the most about the profession I wanted when I grew up was my grandfather. I loved seeing the pride in his eyes when I told him my dreams. Although I often changed my mind, he never made me feel that even the most absurd careers I mentioned were going to be unattainable. I thank him for letting me dream, my mom for being my inspiration. She not only set an example for how hard you have to work in everything in life but also taught me how to be a strong and successful woman. 

KHEDF has been formative to my goal of being a doctor in the Wichita Hispanic community. I want to sincerely thank Irma Luna and Dr. Orozco-Do for supporting me through my undergraduate career and now, the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Without their generosity, support, and example of leadership I would not be as excited to be a future doctor. Many hugs to my family and congratulations to my sister for being a 2023 KHEDF Scholar.

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2024 Dream Big Fiesta

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Why we give

Gene & Yolanda Camarena

"We believe education is one of the most important aspects of success for a person. We are committed to ensure that our Hispanic youth have every opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education and want to help make a difference in the lives of the student and family, as well as, the community-at-large. It is our responsibility as members of a community to help improve the lives of all its citizens, in doing so we improve our own."
Learn More About the Camarenas
Photo of Gene & Yolanda Camarena

thank you to our donors!

Mailing Address
KHEDF
PO Box 4248
Wichita, KS 67204

Office
KHEDF
2601 N. Arkansas
Wichita, KS 67204

Privacy Policy

© 2020 Kansas Hispanic Education & Development Foundation

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