MANA de Imperial Valley holds scholarship ceremony to honor graduates

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Brawley Union High grad Brandon Toji and other Valley graduates received scholarships from MANA for outstanding excellence in academics.

IMPERIAL – The MANA De Imperial Valley honored graduates from throughout the Valley June 12 with an annual scholarship award ceremony at Imperial Valley College.

MANA De Imperial Valley is a local chapter from the National MANA organization of Latinas. Their mission is to enpower Latinas through leadership development, community service and advocacy.

First to the podium for the evening was president Monica Lepe-Negrete of MANA De Imperial Valley to give her opening remarks.

“Like always, we are proud to be here and show our support for these students who have excelled in their high school career and will now be moving on to pursue their new goals in college,” said Lepe-Negrete.

To begin the presentation of awards, MANA first recognized Brawley Union High student Arely Bueno. Bueno finished her high school career with a GPA of 4.02. During her time at Brawley, she was awarded Honor Roll each semester, earned the Navy League GPA Award, was student of the month, and athlete of the month for her participation in Varsity soccer. Bueno will move on to attend SDSU-IVUP to pursue a degree in psychology.

Next to the podium was Mithzeri Carranza, a graduate from Central High School. Carranza graduated from Central with a GPA of 3.5, and was an AVID student for six years. Other accomplishments include her involvement as the yearbook business manager. She will continue her education at Manhattan College to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.

Elena Castro was introduced for her scholarship to UCLA, where Elena will pursue a degree in psychology. While in high school, Castro obtained a 4.19 GPA while participating in Varsity softball and volleyball.

Also receiving an award was Norma Damian, who attended Calipatria High School and graduated with a GPA of 4.14. She was also a member of CSF, MESA, publications, Volleyball, and a member of the art club. Damian will be moving on to the University of California, Irvine, where she will pursue a degree in biomedical engineering.

Also honored was Ian Munoz who attended Southwest High School where he attained a 3.5 GPA all while participating in orchestra, advanced choir, and served as a reporter for the school’s newspaper. Not only did Munoz write for the school paper, but he was also copy editor and vice president of the publication.

Bryanne Sanchez, a graduate from Imperial High School, was also honored. While at Imperial, Bryanne obtained a 4.17 GPA. Sanchez was president of the associated student body, a member of the Imperial Valley Discovery Zone, and a Link crew member. Outside of school, Bryanne was awarded the National 4-H Youth Action Award for her devotion to the local 4-H community. Sanchez will move on to Baylor University to pursue a degree in English.

Receiving the final award for the boys was Brandon Toji a graduate of Brawley Union High School who finished with  4.35 GPA. Toji was a member of the academic decathlon, Key Club, HOSA, and the California Scholastic Federation. He will move on to attend University of California, San Diego, to pursue a degree in physics.

To close out the evening, Lepe-Negrete congratulated all the students on their hard work that was demonstrated through the students’ excellence in school and extracurricular activities.