Miami Philanthropist Pays It Forward With Scholarship FundMeet Marcelo Saenz

Portrait photo of Marcelo Saenz

As a college student, Marcelo Saenz took out loans, applied for scholarships and worked in order to finance his education.

“My parents made too much for me to qualify for aid, but not enough to help pay for school,” said Saenz, now a successful personal injury attorney in Miami.

Buoyed by stories of students unable to pay for school and impressed by the stories of success of Miami Dade College graduates, Saenz decided he would help students who struggled financially like he did. On a whim, he picked up the phone and called the Miami Dade College Foundation.

“It was funny. I called and let them know I wanted to invest in starting a scholarship and was willing to donate $25,000 to get it started,” Saenz said. “I don’t think they get many calls like that because they couldn’t quite believe it.”

Not only was his call unexpected, Saenz never even took a class at MDC. As a longtime resident of Miami, he came to know the important role Miami Dade College plays in providing a high-quality education to all who seek it and in preparing the workforce of the future.

“I just kept reading about Miami Dade College and all the great programs. And it just seems like everyone who does well in Miami has some link to the College,” Saenz said.

The Marcelo Saenz Scholarship Fund is awarded to international students with unmet financial need to help pay for tuition, books and fees. The first recipients will be selected this summer and funds will dispersed for the fall semester.

“What I really want to do is help low-income students who fall through the cracks. I want to help them get an education,” Saenz said.

This scholarship is one of the many ways MDC Foundation makes opportunity possible for students who have financial need.

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