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The Alhambra Latino Association Honors Five AUSD Graduating Seniors With $1,000 Scholarships

  • ALA's annual banquet was cancelled due to COVID-19 so this year's winners, AUSD graduating seniors, were honored at a safe social distance.

  • Jason Lou Gonzalez, San Gabriel High School. Photo courtesy of ALA.

  • Skye Juarez, Alhambra High School. Photo courtesy of ALA.

  • Helena Villanueva, Independence High School. Photo courtesy of ALA.

  • Selina Martinez, Mark Keppel High School. Photo courtesy of ALA.

Location

Alhambra , CA

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 shutdown, the Alhambra Latino Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit, has announced the names of its annual college scholarships one from each of the five high schools in the Alhambra Unified School District.

For the first time in its 25-year history, the non-profit had to cancel its fundraising banquet which was scheduled to honor AUSD Superintendent Denise R. Jaramillo as well as showcase this year’s winners.

Since the high school scholarship program began, ALA has presented more than 109 scholarships and had awarded $73,000 to high school seniors going off to college.

This year, over 40 college-bound seniors applied for the $1,000 ALA scholarship. Those applying were required to submit an essay outlining their dreams and initiatives as well as their plans for higher education and their goals for broader “good”  works in the community.  In addition, applicants were also required to submit letters of recommendations, as well as grade transcripts.

In a statement to students reflecting the current times,  ALA President Teresa Ybarra said. “Although it is easier said than done, try not to stress out too much because everyone else is going through the same thing and we are all in this together. Even if everything looks bad, you shouldn’t give up, still give it your all.”

Founded in 1995, the Alhambra Latino Association is one of the few Latino-focused organizations in  the  western San Gabriel Valley. Its mission is to celebrate Latino heritage and culture, create and co-sponsor educational workshops that prepare youth for higher education and  raise funds throughout the year to provide scholarships to local students.

The ALA board is made up of local educators, community leaders, business owners, and other local stakeholders. To learn more about this non-profit organization, visit their website. Meet this year’s scholarship winners below.

 

The 2020 ALA Scholarship Winners

Jason Lou Gonzalez, San Gabriel High School
Skye Juarez, Alhambra High School
Brayan Lugo, Century High School
Selina Maya Martinez, Mark Keppel High School
Helena Villanueva, Independence High School

 

Jason Lou Gonzalez, San Gabriel High School

Jason Lou Gonzalez identifies as Chinese and Hispanic. His experience volunteering and translating for patients both in Cantonese and Spanish at Monterey Park Hospital has fueled his desire to become a cardiologist. Jason will be attending Yale in the fall, seeking to major in chemistry  and hopes to continue his career in supporting diverse communities in the medical field.


Skye Juarez, Alhambra High School

Skye began her education at Park Elementary School in Alhambra. Skye will be attending Pasadena City College in the fall, majoring in biology. Her goal is to become an  OB/GYN, a doctor who specializes in pregnancy, childbirth, and women’s reproductive health. In her free time, she volunteers at the College and Career Center at Alhambra High School.


Brayan Lugo, Century High School

[Not pictured]

Born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in Mexico City, Brayan describes himself as an entrepreneur. Now residing in Monterey Park, he looks to major in business at East Los Angeles College in the fall. With this education, he seeks to build his identity as a businessman and support affordable housing solutions for homeless communities in California.


Selina Maya Martinez, Mark Keppel High School

Selina has been active during her summers. Her experience participating in the MIT Women’s Technology Program and a similar program at University of Chicago has shaped her life goals, one of which is helping find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. A resident of Rosemead, she will be attending the University of Southern California in the fall and will major in electrical and computer engineering.


Helena Villanueva, Independence High School

Born and raised in Monterey Park, Helena was educated at Repetto Elementary and Independence High School. She will attend Rio Hondo College in the fall and major in Psychology. After achieving her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she wants to become a teacher to aid in the growth of local students. While teaching, she will continue her education to become a licensed psychologist.


Dominic Tovar is the Community Outreach Manager for Alhambra Source and a board member of the Alhambra Latino Association.

Thank you for reading our story! Alhambra Source is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our newsroom reports fact-based quality journalism that educates, informs and engages our diverse communities - with no paywall. Support our mission and donate today!

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