2013 Campaign
Support Education
2014 Annual Pledge Campaign kicks off to build up scholarship funds and awards.

Little Viola
It Takes A Team
The "Little Viola" Scholarship awarded to Daniela Portillo.

Support Education
Called To Serve
Daniela Portillo at Providence High School

Little Viola
Blessed To Serve
First scholarship recipient Abigail Issarraras is fully engaged in activities at Incarnate Word High School.

Support Education
Viola Barrios' quiet, personal and diligent charity work serves as a model for giving.

Little Viola
Foundation president Louis Barrios' open letter asks for community participation in education awards.

 

 

News Files

News Coverage Of The Foundation

Below are news articles and media advisories regarding the foundation, its fundraising
events, its work and its scholarship awards.

Daniela Portillo receives 'Little Viola Award'
San Antonio Express-News Published 12:04 a.m., Thursday, July 28, 2011

Re-Printed from the San Antonio Express-News:

A beautiful thing happened on an ordinary summer afternoon when Providence board member, Craig Franklin, had a conversation with an acquaintance who was wondering if he knew of a student who would benefit from the help his foundation could provide. The acquaintance was Louis Barrios, one of the founders of Viola's Huge Heart Foundation.

As a result of that fateful conversation, incoming Providence sophomore Daniela Portillo became a "Little Viola," the title given to recipients of the Viola's Huge Heart Foundation scholarship. Portillo is the second student to be awarded this scholarship (the first, Abigail Issarraras, is a junior at Incarnate Word High School), which supports young ladies who might not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue a high-quality education due to financial constraints and is designed to underwrite their education throughout their high school careers.

The foundation was started by siblings Louis Barrios, Diane Barrios Trevino and Theresa Barrios to honor their mother, Viola Barrios, who was a beloved citizen of San Antonio and owner of Los Barrios and La Hacienda de Los Barrios restaurants. Viola Barrios' tragic death in 2008 left a legacy of family, love and kindness. Her beautiful smile beams down from the many photos in the foyer of Los Barrios, and a certain twinkle in her eye lets you know that she is not done being a positive force on this earth.

The Barrios family refers to the scholarship recipients as "Little Violas" because they exhibit qualities Viola Barrios was known for, such as being hardworking, generous and loving. Daniela Portillo and her mother, Ana Guerrera, were overflowing with gratitude and happiness at a reception in their honor hosted by the Barrios Family at Los
Barrios Restaurant.

"I had the most beautiful precious mother in the world. She had the most benevolent heart. She worked very hard, setting the bar so high for what can be done through hard work. She taught us all that everything is possible with faith."

—Diana Barrios Trevino, restaurant owner and mother of three From the San Antonio Express-News


Barrios' legacy is aiding others
By Jennifer R. Lloyd - Express-News Published 12:00 a.m., Monday, March 8, 2010

Re-printed from the San Antonio Express-News:

Diana Barrios Treviño, daughter of the slain Mexican restaurant owner Viola Barrios, said she hoped to open a new chapter in the lives of her family and those of Incarnate Word High School students through a Salsa & Scholarships fundraiser Sunday. Treviño and her sister Teresa Barrios Ogden, both graduates of Incarnate Word High School, have said they want to help others attend the all-female Catholic school and continue their mother's legacy of assisting those in need.

Viola's Huge Heart Foundation, which Treviño and her siblings co-founded after their mother's death, partnered with the high school to draw more than 300 people to the scholarship fundraiser with plates of fajitas and silent auction items. "Our goal was to help people, especially women who face insurmountable obstacles in their lives, to better their lives," Treviño said of forming the foundation. "My mother helped so many people, whether it was here in San Antonio or in her hometown of Bustamante, Mexico."

Last year, the foundation gave out one four-year scholarship to Abigail Issarraras. "It's challenging," Issarraras said of her classwork. "I like it just the girls. It makes it more fun. We can all just say what we're thinking. We're not afraid to be ourselves." Issarraras said she was surprised to receive the funding, without which her family might not have been able to afford her tuition and fees.

" A lot of people think our students don't need money," said Joyce Horner, the school's development director. "They think our students are very wealthy, and that's a misconception. We have all walks of life here." Attending the school costs about $8,000 per year, Principal B.J. Nelsen said. More than 25 percent of the 545 girls who attend receive financial assistance, and requests for such assistance have tripled in the past three years, Nelsen said. Treviño said her mother was a huge believer in the type of education Incarnate Word High School offers .

"One thing that my brother and sister and I have always said is that we are not focusing on the last 10 seconds of our mom's life," Trevino said. "We are focusing on the rest of her life, the good that our mother did for so many people. That's the legacy we want remembered and that will be remembered. We want to lead by the example that she showed us."


VHHF.ORG Media Advisory:

Barrios Family Selects Second Scholar
Viola's Huge Heart Foundation celebrates "Little Viola" July 15 at 5 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO— Viola's Huge Heart Foundation has selected its second "Little Viola" scholarship recipient. Daniela Portillo, an incoming sophomore at Providence High School. The Barrios family calls the scholarship recipients "Little Violas" as the young ladies exhibit the hardworking and lovely characteristics the late restaurateur Viola Barrios exuded in her life. Viola's Huge Heart Foundation is a charity founded by the Barrios family that already has awarded one fulltime scholarship to Abigail Issarraras, an incoming junior at Incarnate Word High School. This scholarship supports young ladies who might not have be given the opportunity to pursue a high-quality education due to financial constraints and is designed to underwrite their education through high school.
You are invited to meet Daniela Portillo and her family Friday, July 15 at Los Barrios Mexican Restaurant.

WHO Meet Daniela Portillo, the latest Viola's Huge Heart Scholarship recipient

WHEN Friday, July 15 5 p.m.

WHERE Los Barrios Mexican Restaurant
4223 Blanco Rd. (210) 732-6017

Viola Barrios migrated to Texas from Mexico as a child. As a young widow, she established Los Barrios with $3,000 and enlisted the help of her daughters Diana Barrios Treviño and Dr. Teresa Barrios Ogden and son Louis Barrios to build a local culinary empire. Viola's Huge Heart will be expanding its umbrella of charity to support causes in San Antonio as well as in her hometown.

The foundation also supports the Les Dames d'Escoffier scholarship already honoring Viola Barrios.
July is Viola Barrios' birth month! Help celebrate it by ordering Viola's Huge Heart cake at Los Barrios and La Hacienda de los Barrios. Proceeds benefit the foundation.


Sunday Journal: Huge Heart teaches valuable life lesson
Written by Abigail Issarraras, first scholarship recipient of the Viola's Huge Heart Foundation.
Published by the San Antonio Express-News Sunday, January 23, 20111

Reprinted from San Antonio Express-News story:

Freshman year can be intimidating enough at any school, but heading to an all-girls college preparatory high school like Incarnate Word, that's a different story. Like any normal 14-year-old girl entering high school, I was full of anticipation, excitement and fear the summer before I started high school. I didn't know what was in store for me. I also feared that I might not do as well as I thought I could.

But the Friday before my first day of school, I met my "big sister," Lily Ogden. I also met the girls in my first class and even made a new friend. Suddenly, I felt a little stronger. That first week passed by so quickly that I can barely remember it. Soon enough, I was into the Incarnate Word High School Shamrock routine. Taking three pre-AP classes and Latin for a language, my schedule felt like a challenge to me, and I couldn't wait to overcome it. I joined the theater company, the speech and debate team, a fun club named MAC and even ran for student council historian. My weeks were busy with schoolwork and club work. Before I knew it, Christmastime had come around, along with the most difficult final exams I had ever taken. The year was halfway done, and I wasn't so sure that was a good thing.

My spring semester was even better than the first, and I became part of a new experience called NHI, the National Hispanic Institute. I celebrated my quinceañera, which made me feel more blessed for family and the new friends I have acquired. Then we began preparing for spring semester finals, and a sudden realization came over me. Around this time last year, I didn't even know whether I was going to a Catholic high school. I had applied and been accepted to Incarnate Word, but it probably wasn't going to work out. I'd rather have my brother finish his school years through eighth grade at Little Flower and put myself in public school than have it reversed.

But then something marvelous happened, and that was Viola's Huge Heart Foundation. I could not believe that a family would do so much for one girl, especially me. The more I thought about it, it didn't make sense to me. I was thinking that they should have given a four-year scholarship to someone they knew, rather than me, a random girl from Little Flower School.

However, at the end of my freshman year, in May 2010, it suddenly hit me. Viola's Huge Heart Foundation had taught me a valuable lesson that I won't soon forget. Sure, it's great to help your friends and people you know to be good. It's easy handing someone you know a gift that she truly deserves. But it's even more rewarding to help someone you've never met. Viola's Huge Heart Foundation showed me that giving doesn't stop within your household or your school, but extends out into your community, into the lives of someone you may not know — someone who could really use a friend like you. Because of the foundation, I felt this wanting inside of me to give back to my community, just as Viola Barrios did.

On the last day of school my freshman year, my friend Elizabeth LaFrance came up to hug me goodbye. She told me she was really glad I got my scholarship, because she was glad she met me and was my friend. Thanks to Viola's Huge Heart Foundation, I have some of the best friends in the world. I'm really glad I got my scholarship, too, because I can't imagine my life without the new friends I've made and Incarnate Word High School.