Whenever Amelia “Millie” Duran saw people reading English newspapers, she wondered what it would be like if San Antonio’s Hispanic community had its own publication to meet their needs. In 1989 with the help of her husband, Tino Duran, La Prensa de San Antonio, was on the newsstands.
Soon La Prensa became the voice of Hispanics in San Antonio. Because the bilingual newspaper focused on positive and community based stories, many people began reverting to it for solutions. Always committed to helping their community, La Prensa provided assistance wherever there was a great need.
In particular, Amelia received a lot of requests from parents and students for financial assistance for school. And so, La Prensa became well known throughout the city for supporting education by sponsoring school sports teams, trips, and educational programs. Sometimes the monies would even come from Amelia’s own purse. In answer to this need in 1995 co-publisher, Amelia J. Duran, established the foundation of the same name as an effort to provide students, who might otherwise not have the financial means, the opportunity to pursue their dreams of attaining a higher education.
With the encouragement and support of her dear friend, Lu Betancourt, and a $1,000 starting budget, “Millie” began writing plea letters to possible sponsors. A year later, La Prensa Foundation’s held its first fundraiser Salute to Latina Women in Action. Few people attended the event, little did they know, it was the beginning of a tradition.
As the years progressed, the foundation became stronger and better structured. Its fundraisers little by little grew and became well known throughout the city with many recurring supporters. Now, thirteen years later, the foundation has raised and donated an excess of 2 million dollars. As for Millie, all she still wants is for “the foundation to be the one to open the door to anybody who wants a higher education when nobody else does.”