A kitchen is a starting place–for a day, for a meal, for a career, for a life in a new country. The hospitality industry employs them, so it seems appropriate that a restaurant has stepped up to create a college scholarship for first generation students.

Sonora Grill and Weber State University are uniting to give low-income, first generation immigrant students in Utah aid to complete their higher education.

The Sonora Grill Scholarship Fund benefits underserved and overqualified individuals whose parents have nonresident status in our community,” says Steve Ballard, owner at Sonora Grill. 

 You can support the Sonora Grill Scholarship Fund at the Dining for Dollars fundraising event at Sonora Grill on Thursday, April 11 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sonora Grill will offer a selected menu for $12 or guests can dine off the regular menu with the option to donate. The $12 menu includes an entrée, chips, salsa and drink. Reservations are suggested. For more information visit www.thesonoragrill.com or call 801-393-1999.

 One hundred percent of all sales proceeds will be donated to Weber State University Foundation to fund the scholarship program. An anonymous donor will match Sonora Grill’s contribution up to $25,000. The program goal is to develop a dowry and grant annual scholarship allotments.

 An estimated 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools each year. Only 5 to 10 percent will attend college because of cost or eligibility requirements. Many immigrant students graduate at the top of their class and are part of the 1.5 generation - first generation immigrants raised in the United States from a young age.

Sonora Grill has teamed up with Weber State’s Development Office, John B. Goddard School of Business and Economics, and Multi-Cultural Student Office to award a two-year, full-ride scholarship to one college sophomore. The recipient must be the first family member to attend college and be a Utah high school graduate. The scholarship is effective fall 2013. It includes tuition, books and fees.