Former MUSD Teacher’s Trust Donates $1 Million to ELAC for Scholarships

Applications for the Blanca F. Rios Scholarship available this year.

By EGP Staff Report

Ambitious students attending East Los Angeles College who are having a hard time paying for college may have a new financial resource, thanks to a $ 1 million dollar gift from a former Montebello Unified school teacher.

Blanca Flanagan Rios died in March 2012 at the age of 99. Before she passed, the longtime Monterey Park resident included in her trust a bequest to establish the Blanca F. Rios Scholarship Trust at ELAC. A fund was also established at Cal State University, Los Angeles.

The gift is one of the largest ever received by ELAC, according to the college’s announcement.

Whittier Boulevard is one of Montebello’s busiest streets. (Whittier Boulevard is one of Montebello’s busiest streets. )

Family members of the late Blanca Flanagan Rios present a check for $1.015 million from Rios’ revocable trust to East Los Angeles College. From left, Richard Espinoza, Mary Rios, Rachel Rios, Margaret Espinoza and  David Espinoza. (photo by Mario Villegas)


ELAC President Marvin Martinez accepted the donation from Rio’s family at a reception held in March at the college.

“East Los Angeles College is extremely grateful for this generous gift and will make sure that Blanca F. Rios’ legacy continues the work she dedicated her life to,” Martinez said. “Many of our students have real financial need and Ms. Rios’ generosity will allow them to get the education they deserve.”

The gift includes a $15,000 donation to support ELAC’s Helen Miller Bailey Library.

Rios taught Spanish at Schurr High School in Montebello before retiring in 1977.

“Education was first and foremost to Aunt Blanca,” her nephew, Richard Espinoza said.  “As a teacher, she worked with children who she knew could be successful in college, but came from families who couldn’t afford to send them. She wanted to help make sure that students who are college material have the ability to get to go to college.”

Full-time ELAC students with a minimum B average and financial need will be able to apply for the scholarship this spring. Students should also have knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Mexican culture and history, according to the ELACC announcement.

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April 24, 2014  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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