ANGOLA, Ind. (WANE) An Angola high school student is one of three finalists for the University of St. Francis Pay it Forward Scholarship.
Two incoming freshmen will each receive a scholarship for half tuition and one will get a scholarship for full tuition, renewable for four years.
Luis Sosa Manubes isn’t like most kids in his Spanish class. He grew up in Mexico and already speaks the language fluently. The experiences he had there as a child shaped him into the young man he’s become.
“I saw there were a lot of people in pain. A lot of suffering. People on the streets, kids on the streets.” Luis shared. “They had no food, so I knew I had to do something.”
And do something, he did.
“I created my own non-profit organization and it was only teenagers. It was only friends and I was the leader. I began with that. And we had only six people in the beginning but it grew fast and then we had ten people, 20, hundreds. And I organized all of that,” said Luis.
They took food to people on the streets, visited nursing homes, and bought clothes for the needy. They started with a goal of giving back once a month, but the need was so great – and Luis and his friends enjoyed it so much – that it became a weekly thing.
“And I was like, I have privileges that many people don’t have. So the least I can do is try to share that with the world. God gave me a lot of stuff so I think it’s fair to give back to the world,” Luis said.
That philosophy didn’t stop once he and his family moved to Texas.
“I remember my junior year there was this girl, she was from Honduras, and she needed to finish a project to graduate, she was a senior. And she needed to finish that but she had no idea what to do. So I was helping her after school for two weeks for two or three hours and she finished her project and she graduated. And I was so happy because I was able to do something,” Luis explained.
Another move led the family to Angola, where Luis is wrapping up his high school career. To him, the phrase “pay it forward” is more than just words.
“It means when you get something, sharing is caring,” said Luis. “When you get something, I think it’s your duty to give it to other people. You know, you just have to help from your heart.”
Luis and two other local seniors will find out at the end of March which one will get the full scholarship and which two will receive half-tuition.