Latino students at Dominican High School will be the recipients of a $16,000 tuition assistance grant from the Catholic Community Foundation. (Submitted photo)

Dominican High School in Whitefish Bay prides itself on serving a diverse student body. About 25 percent of its students are Latino, including one-third of the freshman class.

“People think that because Dominican is located in Whitefish Bay that we serve a very specific student body, but our school is so diverse,” said Dominican High School Director of Advancement Claudia Martin.

The mission at Dominican has always been to provide a Catholic education to a diverse student body, but that mission comes with its own set of challenges. 

To serve the underserved, the school gives about $825,000 every year in financially based tuition assistance, with $275,000 going to their Latino students. Having support is vital to providing that assistance. This year, they were awarded a $16,000 grant for tuition assistance for Dominican High School Latino Students to help work toward their goal of inclusion and diversity. 

“Having support from the Catholic Community Foundation is a game changer,” Martin said. The school wants the community to know that they’re proud of being a diverse school and with the life-changing support of dedicated foundations they step closer toward their goal.

Students like Celina (Class of 2023) who participates in volleyball, stage crew and Fuego Latino, are grateful for the opportunity to be part of Dominican’s dynamic environment. She said, “I wouldn’t be here without the scholarship I received. I wouldn’t have the education or the experiences I’ve found here.”

For many of Dominican’s Latino students, scholarship support is the key that unlocks the door to a Catholic education. 

“The Latino students are such an important part of our community,” Martin said. “They mean so much to our school and who we are, and this grant allows us to give more of those students an opportunity to have a top-notch education. 

The pandemic hit low-income families hard and many families at Dominican were deeply affected. Having assistance from the Catholic Community Foundation and other foundations like it was critical for some of their students to be able to stay at Dominican. 

Martin said it’s exciting to see where their students go and how they flourish when they’re at Dominican and when they graduate. They have many students that are first-generation college bound; 98 percent of all graduating students at Dominican choose to go on to higher education, and a good portion of those get tuition assistance from Dominican. 

Scholarship support assists students like Aline (Class of 2020), who is currently attending Marquette University — she’s the first in her family to attend college. Aline was a top-performing student at Dominican who balanced advanced coursework with a variety of leadership roles and extracurricular activities. She was a member of campus ministry, an officer for the National Arts Honor Society and president of the Fuego Latino Club.

Aline said, “My mom graduated high school (and) my dad only got through middle school, so going to a school like Dominican that prepared me for college was such a great privilege. Scholarship assistance helped make my dreams, and my parents’ dreams, come true.”