First Generation Scholarship Program

You Can Make Dreams a Reality

First Generation Scholarship Program


Our DreamMakers help turn dreams into reality for first generation students at FIU.

Pamela Silva Conde

Six-time Emmy award winning journalist, Pamela Silva Conde, is co-anchor of the Univision Network’s weekday newsmagazine “Primer Impacto” (First Impact), one of the highest-rated programs in the United States and in 12 Latin American countries. Since joining the show in 2011, she has covered major national and international news stories. She was the first network news anchor to arrive and report live on the scene of the terrorist attack at the Boston marathon. Silva Conde is also co-anchor of Univision Network’s health show “Cita con tu Salud” (Appointment with your Health).

In 2013 she was recognized by “People en Español” as one of the 25 most powerful Hispanic women, and earlier in the year was included in the magazine’s “50 Mas Bellos” (“50 Most Beautiful”) edition.

As part of the Univision News team, prior to “Primer Impacto” she was the national correspondent for Univision’s primetime investigative newsmagazine “Aquí y Ahora” (Here and Now), previously to that, Silva Conde anchored the leading Spanish-language morning newscast in South Florida for the Univision Miami local affiliates. She has also guest-hosted ABC’s “The View”.

A celebrated journalist, in 2006 Silva Conde won her first Emmy award for on-camera work, and in 2007 she received three additional Emmy awards in the writing, news feature and human interest story categories. Two more Emmys followed: in 2009, for a feature story on Facebook, and in 2010, for a news feature. In addition, she has been recognized as Alumni of the Year by the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Florida International University and later also received the prestigious Florida International University Medallion for Outstanding Alumna.

She recently established the “Pamela Silva Conde Scholarship” benefitting first-generation, low-income college students. She is a member of the board of directors of “Amigos for Kids”, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect, and is a national volunteer and spokesperson for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she is also a member of its ALSAC Leadership Council.

Silva Conde graduated with honors from Florida International University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and subsequently went on to acquire a graduate certificate in Bilingual Communications from St. Thomas University. In 2012 she received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.

Visit the Pamela Silva Conde Scholarship website to learn more. For additional information on Pamela Silva Conde, please visit her website.



Kathryn G. Chase

Kathryn Chase and mother, Sarah Gaylord

Kathryn Chase and mother, Sarah Gaylord

As Citibank’s East Region President of the Consumer Bank and National Small Business Segment Head, Kathryn G. Chase recognizes a good investment when she sees one – and giving back to FIU and its students tops her list. “They need us. For those who can, nothing feels better than giving to the future leaders of our community,” she said.

In honor of her late mother, Sarah R. Gaylord, Chase established a scholarship endowment through a $100,000 gift to benefit these future leaders – deserving first generation Honors College students. The Sarah R. Gaylord First Generation Scholarship Endowment will make these scholarships available.“Creating a scholarship in her name means that she can continue to impact others,” Chase said of her mother, Sarah, who was her role model and best friend.

This gift toward the First Generation Scholarship Fund, which supports FIU students who are the first generation in their families to receive a college degree, will provide annual scholarships of $5,000. Each scholarship will be matched 100 percent by the State of Florida for a total of $10,000 for one student per year, up to four years. To date, FIU has awarded more than $6.6 million to nearly 8,830 FIU students through the First Generation Scholarship Fund. Chase, who joined the FIU Foundation Board of Directors in 2009 and currently serves as vice chairperson, hopes her gift allows more students the opportunity to finish college and achieve their dreams. Chase’s 2012 gift supporting First Generation Scholarships helped create one of her fondest FIU memories that still resonates today – seeing the impact on the scholarship recipients.

“They mailed me personal cards with their stories and how it was making a difference in their lives,” she said. “What better investment could you make?”



Thomas M. Cornish ’85 and Patricia A. Castellanos-Cornish

Jerry Castellanos

Jerry Castellanos

As current chairperson of the FIU Foundation Board of Directors, Thomas M. Cornish ’85 understands the importance of investing in the FIU mission – and passing along “what FIU has done for me to future generations.” To honor the legacy of his father-in-law and “pay it forward,” Cornish and his wife, Patricia A. Castellanos-Cornish, created the Jerry Castellanos First Generation Scholarship Endowment with a gift of $250,000. The endowment will support undergraduate students who are the first generation in their family to receive a college degree, and all scholarships awarded will be matched 100 percent by the State of Florida.

“Giving to FIU is very gratifying as I see the impact on the lives of young students,” Cornish said. “What I love most about FIU is the role that it plays in providing a future for its students, and the importance FIU has in the development of our community.”

Cornish currently serves as state president of Florida for BankUnited. Active in civic and philanthropic endeavors throughout South Florida, he was inducted into the FIU College of Business Hall of Fame in 2013. Additionally, he serves on the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation and Camillus House boards, and the Orange Bowl Committee.

He has also been recognized by numerous organizations as an extraordinary executive and dedicated volunteer. But for Cornish, one of his proudest achievements has been creating the endowment as a means of celebrating Jerry Castellanos’s legacy, while also serving as a powerful testament to his and his wife’s long-term commitment to FIU’s mission and students.

“I hope to provide students with the same chance to succeed that FIU has given to me,” Cornish said. “My fondest memory at FIU was the educational awakening. This gave me great hope for my future.”


For more information on becoming a DreamMaker, please contact Joan Casanova Gonzalez, Development Officer, First Generation Scholarship Program at 305-348-3583 or