From the parking lot of the Handlrey Hotel and Resort in Mission Valley a steady stream of happy Hispanic students and their proud parents walked into the hotel adjusting their coats and patting down stray strands of hair. They were on their way to be recognized and rewarded by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the community for exceeding all expectations and graduating at the top of their class.
For 19 years now LULAC’s has recognized the need to encourage, award and assist local Hispanic students as they strived to achieve educational success. This year, this event was biggest and best yet thanks to the continued support of Anheuser-Busch Sales of San Diego and with the addition of new sponsor Altria, Inc., parent company of Kraft Foods, Philip Morris USA, Philip Morris International and Philip Morris Capital Corporation, an overflowing crowd filled the hall.
The theme of this year’s scholarship awards luncheon, held June 12, was “Great Expectations” and once again the program featured the very entertaining style of Master of Ceremonies Vic Salazar, Anchor, NBC 7/39 news and guest speaker was J. Antonio Falcon Jr., Special Agent, FBI San Diego.
But the real stars of the day were the 45 students who were recognized and the 13 Head-start 5 years olds who received the annual “Motivational Awards”, they always steal the show they are so cute.
Common themes ran throughout the presentations, they were all overachievers, head of their class, demonstrated community involvement, school spirit and highly motivated. Many overcame language barriers, social and economical issues, and most will be the first in their family to go to college.
And without the support of the local community none of what LULAC accomplishes would not be possible. Corporate sponsors include: Macy’s, Home Depot, Home Town Buffet, Blockbuster, San Diego Padres Baseball Club, La Prensa San Diego, Smart & Final, Nrodstrom, Inc., and SBC.
Also contributing to the scholarship fund included: Cookie Lee Jewelry - Rose Cisneros, American Legion Post 6, Home and Garden Party, The Dunn Family, John & Lezette Davis, Frank & Irma Manthei, Billy Newsome, Dr. Vic Resendez, Helen Steele, Joe & Martha Lerma, Mike Hill, Thomas & Pearl Martinez, Roy & Ann Brown, Stephanie & Johnny Perry, Sally & Cliff Lowry and Tom Lamb.
Continuing Education Scholarships:
The William & Peggy Dunn Scholarship was presented to Barry Cordero, San Diego City College. The Altria, Inc., Scholarship presented by Mike Carpenter went to Gabriel Tomas White (who flew in from Chicago that morning to receive his award) of Wright State University School of Medicine. The Eagle Achievement scholarship was presented by John Castillo of Anheuser-Busch went to Christina Welch, National City Adult School. And the LULAC Recognition Award went to Daniel Silvas, San Diego Mesa College.
High School Scholarships:
The Men’s Wearhouse Scholarship was presented to Sabrina Martinez, Hilltop High, and Maria Marisol Angel, Eastlake High. The Macy’s Scholarship went to Melanie Altamirano, Sweetwater High, and Michelle Palacios, Chula Vista High. Nordstrom Scholarships were presented to Andres Bernal, Mount Miguel High and Alexis Camacho, Bonita Vista High. The Altria, Inc., Scholarship went to Rsalba Garcia, Nain Martinez, and Cristihan Gonzalez all from Castle Park High, and Joshua Royal of Montgomery High.
8th & 9th Grade Encouragement Awards:
San Diego Padres Awards were presented to Jessica Moss, Janet Muñoz, and Lauren Kawena Perez of Mar Vista Middle School. LULAC awards were handed out to Jose Altamirano, Naomi Nuñez, and Kerry Ann Velazquez from Southwest Middle School.
6th Grade Incentive Awards:
Blockbuster, Inc., awards went to Elizabeth Huerta and Annette Meza of John A. Otis Elementary. SBC Incentive Awards were presented to Antonio Tapia and Anissha Lomaintewa of Bayside Elementary, and to Claryssa DeAnda, Jenna Howell, and Julian Villalvazo of Emory. Home Depot awards went to Janina Conopio, Daniel Moreno, and Jessica Moreno of Mendoaza Elementary. Also receive the Home Depot award were Leah Estela Mora and Iyan McEwen of Nestor. The Steel Incentive Award was given to Dwayne Codding of Sunnysolope.
LULAC Incentive Awards went to: Eduardo Perez and Maribel Reyes of Nicoloff Elementary. Jacke Rodriguera, Luz Dominguez, and Patricia Rodriguez of Howard Pence. Luzy Romero and Emily Thrasher of Rice. Melissa Pachéco and Crystal Vazquez of Feaster Edison. Christopher Arreola and Cheyenne Blankenship of Juarez-Lincoln. And finally, Lucero Trejo Olmos of Harborside.