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Dr. Antonia Pantoja Fellowship Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 267

Scope and Contents

The Dr. Antonia Pantoja Fellowship Collection (DAPF) consists of institutional records including e-mail correspondences, board meeting minutes, financial records, strategic planning, and fundraising. The materials in this collection span from 1976 to 2012 with the bulk concentrating on the years 2005 to 2012.

Researchers will be able to look through DAPF’s lifespan as a community-based, Latine led, education focused non-profit, in connection with ASPIRA and Dr. Antonia Pantoja’s legacy.

The Dr. Antonia Pantoja Fellowship collection is organized at the collection level. The papers were rehoused into archival boxes and acid free folders but the arrangement remains the same from time of acquisition.

This collection includes correspondence surrounding the logistics of the name change from the Aspirante Alumni Fund to the Dr. Antonia Pantoja Fellowship, as well as what inspired it. There is also a strong focus on the collection’s donor, Digna Sanchez, who was acting president of the organization. There are transcripts from interviews where Ms. Sanchez talks about her work with the Puerto Rican Socialist Party in New York, correspondences from her time as the Assistant Commissioner for policy and program development for the city’s Community Development Agency, and note cards from various speaking engagements. As an ASPIRA alumni and veteran activist for various progressive causes (women’s rights, education access for Latine community, AIDS, and Puerto Rican community at large), Sanchez’s documents predating her time as DAPF president contextualize the organization’s mission, an alumnus in a leadership role, giving back to her community.

Other materials include institutional records from advocacy organizations and projects such as ¡Despierta Boricua!, Claridad Bilingue, Friends of Puerto Rico Committee, and Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano (MINH). There is also correspondence with Washington Mutual Fund, a collaborative relationship in which the organization received grants for general support. As well as documentation, correspondence, and flyers for several theatre and dinner benefits and fundraisers. This collection also includes documentation on DAPF’s strategic planning and plans for their events such as the annual Intergenerational Forum.


  • Creation: 1976-2012
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 2005-2012


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Copyrights held by CENTRO.

Biographical / Historical

The Dr. Antonia Pantoja Fellowship, Inc. (DAPF), a small non-profit aimed at organizing ASPIRA alumni into giving back to the Puerto Rican and Latine youth, who like them, face much adversity in pursuit of higher education.

DAPF was originally known as the Aspirante Alumni Fellowship, Inc. (AAF). The launch event for AAF, a scholaship fund, coincided with Dr Pantoja's 80th birthday in October 2001. Dr. Pantoja repurposed gifts from her 80th birthday to set up the fund. Dr. Pantoja also inspired ASPIRA alumni to donate money so that recipients could receive stipends to buy books. Recipients were to exemplify community service and leadership, in line with Dr. Pantoja's life work.

In 2007, President of AAF Digna Sanchez and the board motioned to change the name to the Dr. Antonia Pantoja Fellowship, to better preserve founder and mentor Dr. Antonia Pantoja's legacy.


6 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian


Metadata Rights Declarations

About the Collections

Our collections consist of personal papers from prominent Puerto Rican artists, elected officials, social activists, writers, as well as the records of community-based organizations. Our largest collection, the Offices of the Government of Puerto Rico in the United States (OGPRUS) Records, measures approximately 2,900 cubic feet and contains an extraordinary amount of information regarding Puerto Rican migrants and the government institutions established to assist them. The collections date from the 1890s to the present, and document Puerto Rican communities in the Northeast, Midwest, Florida, California and Hawaii.