21st Annual ALA Scholarship Banquet Recognizes Local Students

Photo by Martin Ulloa

Location

Alhambra , CA United States

Last Friday marked the 21st annual Alhambra Latino Association (ALA) Fundraiser Banquet, an event that celebrates five students from the major high schools in the Alhambra Unified School District(AUSD). The public event, held at Almansor Court, is composed of a dinner & dance social and invites local community leaders, district employees, and teachers. The goal of the event is to gather the community and raise awareness regarding the need for cultural events and educational resources for Latino students. The $1,000 scholarship helps students begin their first year at a major university, with recipients going to schools across the U.S. Below is a list of the 2017 recipients:

Maria Guadalupe Godinez, Alhambra High School

Valeria Duran, San Gabriel High School

Jose Consuett, Century High School

Monserrat Martinez, Independence High School

Tatiana Garnet, Mark Kepple High School

Each student gave a heartfelt speech regarding their future goals, thanking family, teachers, and other support systems. Although each student shared a stage on Friday, their goals outside the banquet varied. For example, Maria Guadalupe Godinez wants to help immigrant families receive fair treatment, economic resources, and social justice in their community, while Valeria Duran wants to expose the socio-economic inequalities in public health for minorities through writing. Monserrat Martinez wants to be a social worker and help foster youth, while Tatiana Garnet wants to create films that break stereotypes. Each student wants to contribute in their own way and the scholarship helps them make that first step through higher education.

In addition to the scholarship recipients, a community member is annually recognized. This year Dr. Lis Ramos Hancacek, Principal at Martha Baldwin Elementary, was honored for her longtime dedication to the AUSD.

The banquet functions as a space that celebrates and acknowledges the students for their commitment to education and their engagement in the community. Guests ranged from teachers, administration, local police department, and local politicians. Other notable guests included Alhambra Mayor, David Mejia and U.S. Congresswoman, Judy Chu. The congresswoman comes in from Washington D.C. every year to meet the students and present them with their awards.

Since 1995, ALA has been a staple in community. By offering workshops, cultural-awareness events, and serving as mentors to Latino youth, the non-profit organization has promoted higher education and cultural growth in the AUSD. ALA is made up of community members and educators dedicated to support Latino education in Alhambra and the surrounding area.

For more information on ALA and other community events they are involved in, visit http://www.alhambralatinoassociation.com/ or on their Facebook.

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