Letter: Biased scholarships

June 17, 2014 

As a fluent Spanish-speaking pediatrician, I have many Hispanic patients. I am proud of all they have accomplished, and I have a great love for Hispanic families. Many of these local Hispanic students were recently awarded Hispanic Academic Achievers Program scholarships. These scholarships are well-funded by many of the major players in our community. According to the HAAP website, more than $1 million in scholarships has been awarded since its inception.

I also have many Asian, African-American and Caucasian patients, many of whom are also very deserving and in great need of scholarships to further their education. Unfortunately, these students are not considered for the HAAP scholarships because the first requirement listed on the application is the student must "be of hispanic ethnicity."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. looked forward to a day when his children would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. It looks like we're not quite there yet. Ethnicity should not be considered in the awarding of scholarships and grants.

AARON RICHARDSON, Pasco

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