INTERVIEW WITH SPARX & LORENZO ANTONIO
Q: What is your Foundation all about?
A: The primary purpose of our Foundation is to provide and encourage higher education for New Mexico high school students, by helping to lessen the financial burden of going to college.
Q: What is it that you specifically do to accomplish that goal?
A: There are two specific things that we do to accomplish that goal. First, we provide scholarships for graduating New Mexico high school students. Second, we spread the word about the importance of education via this Foundation, and at our yearly concert where we raise funds for the scholarships that we provide.
Q: Why do you do this?
A: We do this because we strongly believe that a good education is very important in order to excel in life.
Q: How did you get from that belief to actually creating a scholarship?
A: Initially, we wanted to express our thanks to a community that has supported us throughout our careers. We wanted to “give something back.” How to do this was the question we faced. As we talked about how, the theme of youth and education was always at the center of our discussions, and we decided that a scholarship would be the perfect vehicle to accomplish what we wanted to do.
Q: When did this discussion take place?
A: We first started talking about giving back to the community in early 2001. Later that year, we partnered up with Albuquerque Public Schools (APS). With their support, the scholarship went from being an idea to being a very real possibility. 2002 was when we held our first concert to raise funds for the scholarship, and 2003 was when we awarded the scholarship for the first time.
Q: To how many students have you awarded your scholarship?
A: That number is constantly changing. For the current total, check our our recipients page.
Q: Isn’t all of this a lot of work?
A: It definitely is. More than we initially expected. But as time has gone on, we have learned a lot, and we try to improve everything about our scholarship and Foundation every year. We love doing this, so it’s fun for us as well.
Q: How do you feel about having helped so many students continue on from high school to a higher education?
A: The most rewarding part of doing all this is when we finally get to meet the recipients of our scholarship. It’s very gratifying to see these young people begin their journey on to higher education and adulthood, and it is very satisfying knowing that our scholarship will help lessen the huge financial burden that that journey imposes.
Q: When do you meet the recipients?
A: We hold a Scholarship Awards Presentation where we get to meet the recipients. It is always a lot of fun getting to meet and speak to the students face to face.
Q: Have you done this all by yourselves, or have you had help along the way?
A: We have had a tremendous amount of support from all kinds of different organizations and people. Probably the easiest way for you to see just how many people and organizations have supported us throughout the years is to go to our sponsor’s page. With out them, there is simply no way we would have been able to accomplish all that we have.
A: Is there anything else that you would like to tell us?
Q: Actually, there is. There is another entity that, without them, it would literally be impossible for us to give this scholarship: All the people that purchase a ticket and come to our yearly concert fundraiser. It is because of them that we are able to this, and we would like to thank them for all their support.