MALIBU—A SoCal couple, Gilbert and Jacki Cisneros, donated $7 million to George Washington University in Washington D.C. to create a Hispanic Leadership Institute and scholarship programs.
The donation was originally announced at a Board of Trustees meeting last month, with an official University press release outlining the details published on June 9. The donation comes from alumnus Gilbert Cisneros of George Washington University and his wife Jacki. The programs their donations create will aim to help the Hispanic community. In the campus’s press release the university’s president, Steven Knapp, commented, “Gil and Jacki Cisneros’s magnificent gift will play a crucial role in creating the next generation of leaders of the Hispanic community.”
The institute features a pre-college program for high school students that highlight leadership skills in the Hispanic community. During the summer before senior year, selected students will visit Washington D.C. to learn about and spark interest in attending top tier universities.
The Cisneros have also created a scholarship for selected students enrolled in George Washington University called Cisneros Scholars. Both programs give special consideration for Hispanic students that show leadership, volunteer for community service, and want to give back to the Hispanic community. Anyone is allowed to apply for the programs, but Hispanic students are given priority.
Each entering class beginning summer 2016 can receive scholarship money up to $250,000. Within four years, the university hopes to have 20 Cisneros Scholars.
The Cisneros’ donated their money after winning a $266 million jackpot in the California Mega Millions lottery.