Garfield Seniors Earn Over Half Million in Scholarships

By Gloria Angelina Castillo, EGP Staff Writer

Hundreds of Garfield High School seniors were awarded scholarships totaling $700,000 on June 10 for their four-years of academic excellence and perseverance.

Proud family members and friends gathered at the school’s quad area for the awards ceremony to celebrate the academic honors and 330 scholarships awarded to exemplary bulldogs, many of whom come from low-income households with limited resources.

Valedictorian Marichuy Gomez (center, white dress) and salutatorian Edward Valle (far right) receive recognition for four years of academic excellence. (EGP Photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

The scholarships varied in dollar amounts and were awarded by a diverse mix of businesses, universities and colleges, organizations, individuals and alumni. This year was the first year the East Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce awarded “Terry Castañeda Memorial” Scholarships, named for the Chamber’s former executive director. It was presented to Celeste Cruz, Ruben Macias and Hilda Amaya.

Marichuy Gomez, the class valedictorian who earned a 4.43 GPA, was the evening’s top honoree. She received 6 scholarships and will be attending Smith College in Massachusetts. When Gomez started at Garfield, she was an EL (English Learner) student, according to Dede Vidales, public relations director for the Garfield Alumni Foundation. This is significant because many people “write off” EL students and don’t think they can make it, Vidales told EGP. Gomez is also a member of the school’s ROTC Color Guard, which opened the awards ceremony.

Several scholarships were named in memory of famed math teacher Jaime Escalante who died earlier this year, including the Jaime Escalante Alumni Scholarship awarded to Johanna Becerra, Genesis Coronado, Marichuy Gomez, Hernan Hernandez, Jimena Jimenez-Aguilar, Jaime Murillo, Maria Perez Perez, Sarah Rojas, Ubaldo Tapia, and Yesenia Trujillo.

Hilda Amaya received the first Jaime Escalante Spirit Award, presented by FASE.

Vidales called Amaya an inspirational student who could not afford to participate in extracurricular activities, and would go home to care for her brothers and sisters before doing her homework; she excelled in her studies.

Pan American Bank and the Rotary Club of East Los Angeles presented the Jaime Escalante Legacy Scholarship to Marichuy Gomez, Lizet Gonzalez, Erick Perez, and Daniel Solis-Valdez.

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June 17, 2010  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


2 Responses to “Garfield Seniors Earn Over Half Million in Scholarships”

  1. Jesse Torres on June 20th, 2010 12:46 pm

    We are so proud of our Jaime Escalante Legacy Scholarship recipients. I was so blown away by the achievements of all the scholars and especially one of our winners, Marichuy Gomez.

    Too often the only news the outside world hears about East Los revolves around tragedy. But our little community is full of tremendous success stories, as well. Marichuy and every graduating senior at this event are an example of what has been happening “under the radar” at all of our schools within our community. We are thrilled to have played a little role in this event and the lives of our graduating youth.

    Thank you EGP News for reporting on this event and I hope that one day every student graduating from an East Los Angeles high school will be a Marichuy of his or her own.

    Jesse Torres
    President and CEO
    Pan American Bank
    East Los Angeles, CA 90063
    “California’s Oldest Latino-Owned Bank”

  2. ganiu sasi on October 28th, 2010 10:35 am

    please can i have marichuy direct email adress ormobile no

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