MANA de Imperial Valley Acknowledges 25 Local Scholarship Recipients

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MANA$13,500 in scholarships was awarded to twenty-five local students. Four students were recipients of a $750 scholarships and twenty-one students were recipients of a $500 scholarships.

EL CENTRO – The Imperial Valley Chapter of MANA, a National Latina Organization, awarded twenty-three local high school graduates the Imperial Valley Chapter College and University Scholarship while one individual received the IVC EOP Transfer Scholarship and another was awarded the Elsa Downs Memorial Nursing Scholarship.

MANA de Imperial Valley hosted a reception on Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at Imperial Valley College, Lecture Hall (room 2734) to award the scholarships to the twenty-five recipients.

MANA de Imperial Valley is committed to supporting students in furthering their education and in recognizing outstanding students in Imperial County. The community’s support at the Las Primeras Awards Gala and Scholarship Fundraiser this past year has allowed MANA to raise the funds necessary for local scholarships and provide them to young students who are pursuing higher education.

In addition, MANA was awarded $3,500 by the UPS Foundation to support the scholarship program.

Maria Peinado, MANA President stated, “The annual Scholarship ceremony is at the heart of MANA de Imperial Valley’s community efforts to support outstanding young students who have excelled academically and are outstanding leaders in our community. We want thank all the sponsors and community supporters of the Las Primeras Scholarship Fundraiser for assisting

MANA in raising the funds to offer these local scholarships.”

The 2016 MANA Scholarship was made available to local Latina Imperial Valley high school seniors who met the following criteria: have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent); have plans to enroll full-time in a degree seeking program at a two or four year U.S. accredited institution during the 2015-2016 academic year; have community service/school activities involvement and have participated in leadership and civic/community activities.

The IVC EOP Transfer scholarship was awarded to an EOP student transferring to a 4-year university. The Elsa Downs Nursing Scholarship was awarded to an Imperial Valley College Nursing student who maintains a strong GPA and plans to continue preparing for a career in nursing.

MANA, a National Latina Organization, was founded in 1974 as the Mexican-American Women’s National Association. MANA’s original intent was to provide a voice for Mexican-American women at the national, state and local levels. The organization has now expanded into a diverse group of Latinas who continue to develop their abilities in political, social and professional fields. MANA empowers Latinas through leadership development, community service and advocacy.

The following are the scholarship recipients:

Ana Ayala

Ana graduated from Central Union High School with a GPA of 3.56. She participated in Mock Trial, Migrant and Speech Debate Competition, and AVID as a tutor. She will attend the University of Santa Cruz and major in computer engineering. Her parents are Ana Ayala and Jacob Ayala.

Ana Karen Borquez

Ana graduated from Central Union High School with a GPA of 3.9. She has volunteered as a peer tutor at her high school. She plans on attending the University of California Los Angeles to pursue a degree in political science. Her parents are Patricia Wong and Juan Borquez.

Alexandra Martinez

Alexandra graduated from Central Union High School with a GPA of 4.11. She has volunteered as a peer tutor and childcare assistant. She’s a member of the Future Business Leaders of America. She will be attending San Diego State University to pursue a degree in accounting. Her parents are Graciela and Alexis Alarcon.

Apolonia Gardner

Apolonia graduated from Imperial High School with a G.P.A. of 4.37. She has participated in the Brain Bee, Academic Decathlon, Mock Trial, M.E.S.A., A.S.B., Class Office, Student Council, C.S.F., Cross Country, Track and Field, Band, Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Singers, Key Club, Interact Club, Link Crew, H.O.S.A., and I.V.D.Z. She will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue a degree in Biology. Her parents are Douglas and Virginia Gardner.

Ashley Melissa Torres Martinez

Ashley graduated from Calipatria High School with a GPA of 4.05. She will be attending UC San Diego to major in computer engineering. She has participated in activities like Book Club, Archery, Cheerleading, Golf, Link Crew, MESA, Migrant and Speech Debate, and Brawley Rotary Club to name a few. Her parents are Imelda and Juan Torres.

Cassandra Proo

Cassandra graduated from Brawley High with and GPA of a 4.0. She has participated in the following: Cross Country, California Scholarship Federation (CSF), Class Office, Junior State of America (JSA), Literary Society, Altar Serving, Cowbell BBQ, Cattle Call Booth, MAG Coalition 5K, and St. Patrick’s Day Fair. She will attend either UCLA or Cornell University as an Undeclared major. Her parents are Cass Martinez-Proo and Ernie Proo.

Cynthia Cortez

Cynthia graduated from Holtville High School with a GPA of 4.43. She has volunteered at Migrant Education Summer School, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Holtville Chamber of Commerce, and St. Joseph’s Church. She will attend UC San Diego to pursue a degree in chemical engineering. Her parents are Maria and Raul Cortez.

Cinthia Inzunza

Cinthia is attending the Imperial Valley College with a GPA of 3.79. She has participated in community service such as Global Poverty/Autistic Children Awareness 5K relay charities and volunteered as a Candy Striper in El Centro Hospital. She is transferring from IVC to SDSU to earn a B.S. degree in nursing. Her mother is Maria Cardenas.

Denise Solorzano

Denise graduated from Calipatria with a GPA of 3.1. She has volunteered at Pioneers Memorial Hospital, Niland Full Gospel Lighthouse Church and participated in a ten-day missionary trip to Haiti. She plans on attending San Diego State University Imperial Valley Campus to pursue a degree in Psychology. Her mother is Velia Taffolla.

Elizabeth Flores

Elizabeth graduated from Central Union High School with a GPA of 3.54. She was a section leader for the Great Spartan Band and has volunteered at the Cigarette Butt City Clean Up events in El Centro, CA. She plans on attending the University of California Riverside to pursue a degree in psychology. Her parents are Ramon and Claudia Flores.

Kassandra Ramirez

Kassandra graduated from Calipatria High School with a GPA of 4.12. She has volunteered at Pioneers Memorial Hospital, St. Patrick’s Church, and Calipatria Chamber of Commerce and at the school office. She plans to attend San Diego State University to pursue a degree in Kinesiology. Her parents are Elizabeth and Frank Ramirez.

Marely Garcia

Marely graduated from Holtville High School with a GPA of 3.83. She has participated in the following community services: tutoring, coaching basketball, volunteering at tournaments, office assistant, and dinner fundraisers. She will be attending San Diego State University Imperial Valley Campus to pursue a degree in Social work and Education. Her parents are Francisco Garcia and Alma Montaño.

Marina Ruiz

Marina graduated from Central Union High School with a GPA of 4.2. She was recognized as the Most Avidized Student for the highest GPA and best community service. She has volunteered at the Farmers Market, Color Run and Day Out Center for students with disabilities. She plans to attend UC Irvine for a degree in nursing. Her parents are Angelica and Adiel Ruiz.

Michelle Vazquez

Michelle is coming from Central Union High School and IVC with GPAs of 3.95 and 3.67 respectively. She was involved in Random Acts of Kindness, Pawsitivity, Future Medics, and Green Team. She volunteers at the local humane society, blood drives and community feeds and fundraisers. She will be attending UCSD to pursue a degree in Biochemistry. Her mom is Zulema Godinez.

Miranda Montenegro

Miranda graduated from Southwest High School with a GPA of 4.27. She has done volunteer work at CASA, Sister Evelyn Mourey Center, City of El Centro, ICOE Academy Schools, El Centro Kiwanis Annual Fundraiser, March of Dimes, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church just to name a few. She’s also a volunteer Jr. News Reporter with Spectrum Advertising and Media and the Office of Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez. She will attend UCLA to pursue a degree in English. Her parents are Ruth and Joe Montenegro.

Oriana Salazar

Oriana graduated from Holtville High School with a G.P.A. of 4.32. She has participated as captain of the Track and Cross Country teams for two years and is the Migrant Education Program Student of the Year for 2015-2016 as well as a National Hispanic Scholar. She will attend the University of California, Los Angeles to pursue a degree in Business Economics. Her parents are Guadalupe and Rene Salazar.

Paloma Ledesma

Paloma graduated from Calipatria High School with a G.P.A of 4.19. She has participated in MESA, Advanced Computer Education Club, California Scholar Federation, Art Club, Book Club, Varsity Swim Team, Cyber Patriot, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, ASB, Tutoring, Meyer Memorial Library Volunteer, Blood Drive Volunteer, Senior Class Fundraisers, and Technical Assistant in Calipatria Unified School District. She will attend UC Berkeley to pursue a degree in Biochemistry. Her parents are Rosario and Abraham Ledesma.

Paola Leal

Paola graduated from Holtville High School with a GPA of 4.08. She has participated in softball, Pep Club, and ASB to name a few. She has volunteered in different community events and the school district office. She will be attending UC Davis to pursue a degree in human development. Her father is Saul Leal.

Samantha Estes

Samantha graduated from Imperial High School with a G.P.A. of 4.4. She has participated in Associated Student Body, Class of 2016 leadership, Student Council, Varsity Swim, and Imperial Valley Desert Aquatics. She will be attending University of California San Diego to pursue a degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Her parents are Valentina and William Estes.

Samantha Ruiz

Samantha graduated from Calexico High School with a GPA of 4.09. She has volunteered as a tutor in summer programs, drug rehabilitation centers, ECRMC, and Calexico Border Health Fair. She also participated in Future Homemakers of America, MESA and the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership. She will attend UCLA to pursue a degree in pre-human biology & society. Her parents are Veronica and Pablo Ruiz.

Silvina Rodriguez

Silvina graduated from Central Union High School with a GPA of 3.98. She has participated in Robotics, MESA, AVID, Rocketry, Eastlake Church Summer Camp, Tutoring, and 2016 Student Government. She will attend UC San Diego. Her parents are Vivian Burrola and Lupe Rodriguez.

Stephanie Jimenez

Stephanie is transferring from Imperial Valley College with a GPA of 3.31. She has volunteered at the “Manantial de Vida” orphanage in Mexicali, Mexico, Relay for Life and highway clean-up crew. She plans on transferring to San Francisco State University to pursue a degree in Journalism. Her parents are Ruben and Dahlia Jimenez.

Susana Proo

Susana graduated from Brawley Union High School with a GPA of 4.53. She has done volunteer work at Saint Patrick Church, The California Scholarship Federation, MAG Coalition, and class office. She will attend the University of California Los Angeles to pursue a degree in business economics. Her parents are Cass Martinez-Proo and Ernie Proo.

Valerie Cardenas

Valerie graduated from Central Union High School with a GPA of 3.76. She has received honors and awards such as Ms. Sparta for basketball and MVP for volleyball. She has participated in various community events such as 4-H and Spartan Senate. She plans on attending IVC and transfer to SDSU majoring in elementary education. Her parents are Brandie and Alex Cardenas.

Veronica Garcia

Veronica graduated from Brawley Union High School with a GPA of 4.54. She has volunteered at the Humane Society, Hacienda Catering Services fundraiser events, Rodeo Club, and as a Class Officer of Publicity. She will attend the University of California Los Angeles to pursue a degree in Physiological Science. Her parents are Mikey and Alex Garcia.

For additional information regarding the MANA Imperial Valley Chapter College and University Scholarship, the IVC EOP Transfer Scholarship and the Elsa Downs Memorial Scholarship please contact Scholarship Coordinator, Keila Rodriguez at (760) 457-7535 or via email at krodriguez@icoe.org.