Figueroa talks about his book club and how it got started: "I founded the Latinos Urbanos Book Club in January 2021, during the pandemic, as an opportunity to reinvest myself back into the reading of recent literary works of art by Latino/Latina writers, as well as authors of color. An intimate size of ten educators, health professionals, and engineers, we have had the opportunity to read and discuss engaging, thought-provoking, and necessary reads with those authors, encouraging deep conversation on many themes, such as cultural identity, history, language, and society. We focus and encourage the promotion of literature and the exchanging of ideas with everyone we come across: from the authors to the readers alike".
He further elaborates on a recent project he was working on that was discovered by famous rapper Bad Bunny who called on fans this summer to highlight Latinos who were making a difference in their communities. Figueroa explains, "This year, we have created the first Latinos Urbanos Scholarships and have paired with KIPP All Middle School in the Bronx area of New York. With the goal of giving back to our NYC communities, we highlight and are working diligently to support students, and their families, who are in need of financial support for their academic goals. With the help of our communities, we have been able to fundraise $2,130 to go toward these scholarships, awarded to winning applicants in November 2022. Additionally, we have been chosen to receive $25,000, by both Bad Bunny, and Good Bunny Foundation, along with Cheetos, who have allocated $500,000 to help in Hispanic communities by means of their Deja Tu Huella campaign. With both amounts, the Latinos Urbanos Book Club is excited to now be able to help our NYC communities in grander and more impactful ways".
Click here to access the full news story covered by News12 The Bronx. Figueroa's book club was initially featured in the SPO Summer with SPO Faculty series on Instagram!
Stay tuned for a follow up story in November when funds are awarded to winning student applicants and their families.