Valentina García Receives the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation's Sofia Carson Scholarship

The 19-year-old Venezuelan vocalist will pursue a bachelor's degree at Berklee this fall.

August 24, 2022

The Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation awarded its Prodigy Scholarship to vocalist Valentina García in a special presentation on August 11, 2022, in Miami, Florida. The Prodigy Scholarship, which was created eight years ago to support music education and Latin music genres, is cosponsored this year by Sofia Carson. It holds a maximum value of $200,000 and will allow García to pursue a bachelor's degree at Berklee, beginning this fall.

The Venezuelan native was selected by the foundation's Scholarship Committee from a highly competitive group of hundreds of applicants worldwide. “Together, Sofia Carson and the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation have changed my life for the better. I am forever grateful for their generosity and the doors they have opened,” said García. “My journey is only beginning, as I bear witness to the impact the foundation has made on the lives of Latin musicians around the world, I am determined to pay it forward and be a voice for those who are most in need.”

Since its establishment, the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation has committed an extraordinary sum of more than $7.6 million towards scholarships, grants, musical instruments, and educational events throughout the United States and Ibero-America.

“Year after year, we are humbled and inspired by the sheer volume and quality of scholarship entries from future Latin music creators committed to pursuing their dreams,” said Manuel Abud, CEO of the Latin Recording Academy. “Since its inception and against adversities, our foundation has been focused on awarding nearly $1 million in scholarships each year, thanks to the generosity of artists such as Sofia Carson, who continues to solidify the legacy of Latin music and preserve this program for future generations.”

“It has been my privilege to witness the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation’s transformational mission, changing lives through the power of music education,” said Sofia Carson, global ambassador of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation. “It is my honor to partner with my foundation family to present Valentina with the Prodigy Scholarship. She is an ever-deserving, brilliant young woman whose voice and talent awed us. Together, may we continue to amplify and lift powerful Latin voices in every corner of our world.”

Previous cosponsors of the Prodigy Scholarship include Enrique Iglesias (2015), Juan Luis Guerra ’82 (2016), Miguel Bosé (2017), Carlos Vives (2018), Emilio and Gloria Estefan '07H (2019), Julio Iglesias '15H (2020), and Juanes (2021). 

The foundation also announced 43 recipients of its annual Gifted Tuition Scholarships and Tuition Assistance Scholarships with 15 of the awardees planning to pursue their education at Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Each student will receive a one-time scholarship with a maximum value of $10,000 toward their tuition costs through the Tuition Assistance Scholarship. 

Kristalis Sotomayor Matos, who earned her Bachelor of Music degree in performance (flute) and music education from the college and is now attending the conservatory said, “Winning this scholarship means a lot to me since now it's possible to make my dream come true. Thanks to this scholarship, I will be able to complete my master's [degree] and, by completing that, I will be able to achieve my goal of teaching, playing in an orchestra, and having my own Latin jazz band. I am very thankful [to] the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation for helping many Latino students like me achieve our goals.”

Bogotá, Colombia, native Maximiliano Jaime, who first began his education as a drummer at Berklee through EMMAT (Escuela de Música, Medios, Arte y Tecnologia) said, “This scholarship seriously means a lot to me. Thanks to this, I will be able to complete my studies at Berklee. I'm very thankful for the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation.”

The 15 recipients include:

  • Stephanie Acosta, Colombia, Berklee College of Music (Voice)
  • Sebastian Castillo, Panama, Berklee College of Music (Piano)
  • Lorenzo Curik, Argentina, Berklee College of Music (Drum Set)
  • Maximiliano Jaime, Colombia, Berklee College of Music (Drum Set)
  • Damian Kompel, Argentina, Berklee College of Music (Clarinet)
  • Simon Martinez, Ecuador, Berklee College of Music (Piano)
  • Andrés Nali, Venezuela, Berklee College of Music (Percussion)
  • Rafael Nocedo Gonzalez, Cuba, Berklee College of Music (Piano)
  • Daniel Olivero, Venezuela, Berklee College of Music (Voice)
  • Oscar Rojas, Mexico, Berklee College of Music (Piano)
  • Isaac Romagosa, Spain, Berklee College of Music (Guitar)
  • Juan Sebastian Sanchez, Colombia, Berklee College of Music (Percussion)
  • Joao Semedo, Portugal, Berklee College of Music (Vibraphone)
  • Kristalis Sotomayor Matos, Puerto Rico, Boston Conservatory at Berklee (Flute)
  • Ángela Varo Moreno, Spain, Berklee College of Music (Violin)

For more information about the foundation, or to make a donation, please visit the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation.

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