In 1983, the Hall Family Foundation approached leaders in Kansas City's Hispanic community with an innovative idea for them to control philanthropic resources for their own community. The concept had never been attempted before: to give leaders in the Kansas City Latino community resources for them to decide philanthropic priorities in their own community. Through the leadership of Tony Salazar and others in the community, the group rose to the challenge of investing the initial funds contributed by the Hall Family Foundation.
The Hispanic Development Fund, or HDF, soon proved the concept could become a reality. In 1986, the Hall Family Foundation made a pledge to further support the fund by helping create an endowment. Over the ensuing years the HDF leadership through hard work and perseverance continued to raise more endowment funds, many from within the Latino community. In 2006, HDF, as a result of its growth and success, became a regional affiliate of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.
The mission of the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund is to improve the quality of life of Latino families in Greater Kansas City by engaging the Latino community in philanthropy to build stronger communities through grantmaking and scholarship support.
John joined the staff of the Hispanic Development Fund in 2018 after spending ten years as a high school social studies teacher and college advisor. It was during this time that John discovered his passion for helping Latino students reach their college goals and saw first-hand the unique barriers that many first-generation students face in navigating the college admissions and financial aid processes. In addition to his role at HDF, John founded the Pell Project.
John earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in secondary education from the University of Kansas.
Alex brings a wealth of college advising experience, most recently at Metropolitan Community College. As a first-generation college graduate, she has a deep understanding of the barriers many of our students and families face in their academic journeys and, more importantly, how to overcome these challenges.
Alex holds her bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a master's degree in Educational Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Founding Board Member
VP, Community Development Officer
Vice President of Community Programs
Wyandotte Health Foundation
Founding Board Member
Law Office of Raymond Rico, LLC
Hall Family Foundation
Juris Doctor Candidate
University of Kansas School of Law
Broadmark Real Estate Management