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