Student Highlight: A Parent’s Perspective

It’s a blessing for us to be a part of the Fulfillment Fund.

When the two parties come together to achieve a common goal, they are more likely to do it successfully. Partnerships are important to helping us carry out our mission, and the partnership we have with our Fulfillment Fund parents is no different. 

This year, we have actively sought out ways to engage more parents by providing them with workshops and resources for their future graduates to succeed, building upon what we succeeded in doing with and for parents for many years. 

For almost a decade now, we have worked closely with Carlos Portillo and his two sons, Charlie and David. Today, Mr. Portillo’s sons are both scholarship recipients at Dickinson College (class of 2020 and 2023, respectively). He credits their ease into higher education thanks to the work and support they received through our services. 

“This is a great program that helps students,” he said. “It’s a blessing for us to be a part of the Fulfillment Fund.” 

Charlie and David both exemplify the scale and depth of Fulfillment Fund programming. We have worked with them since their early teens. In high school, they were both in our College Access Program and took part in our classroom lessons, one-on-one college counseling, Men Creating Change student enrichment group, and field trips to visit universities. After that, they attended Fulfillment Fund University and were both awarded Fulfillment Fund Scholarships. They also participated in other College Success Program services such as advising. 

I am super proud of Charlie [who just graduated in May ‘20]. He is the first in the family to go to college. And, I’m also very proud of David who is attending his second year. 

He recalls his children being exposed to Fulfillment Fund early on. Charlie and David always had the idea that they would pursue higher education, so having this support was helpful. 

Mr. Portillo told us they had always wanted their kids to go to college, but they never really felt they had the information they needed on how to make it happen, let alone how they would pay for it. 

He says, “knowledge is wealth, and Fulfillment Fund helped us get a lot of information about scholarships, about the college process, and how to apply. They taught us about the different scholarships that are out there and about the colleges themselves.” 

Navigating the college application process is difficult, and can be even harder when you have never been through it yourself. Having support through these crucial decisions about your child’s education and future can empower parents to be there for their students. 

“Fulfillment Fund can provide so much information to parents,” Mr. Portillo said. “All the questions you could have, all the difficulties you might think there are for your children to go to college; the staff is very helpful.” 

Mr. Portillo also recalls when Charlie and David went on college tours with the Fulfillment Fund. He felt it was a great opportunity for his children to get a taste of what to expect and help them choose which campus was right for them. “I remember when my kids came back from a university visit; they came back with so much information,” he said. 

He recommends other parents make the time to attend workshops and go with their kids to get information about their options for college. Mr. Portillo said, “we can’t be thankful enough for all the help we received from the Fulfillment Fund.” 

Having support through these crucial decisions about your child’s education and future can empower parents to be there for their students.  

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