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2019 – 2020

Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Chicana/o Scholarship Fund recipients! Get to know what our students are studying at the U and what motivates them.

Brenda Leon Lopez

Lois and Archie Archuleta Scholarship Award

Major: Criminology, Peace & Conflict Studies, Sociology
My mom is my biggest motivator because she is the one who has dedicated her entire life to helping me succeed. She keeps me grounded and continues to light up my desire to pursue my educational journey. I am most passionate about challenging the status quo through the lens of someone in a community with limited resources. Through this challenge, I can begin changing the way we are threated in “the land of the free”.

Miriam Thalia Flores

Lois and Archie Archuleta Scholarship Award

Major: Fine Arts with Graphic Design Emphasis
My parents have motivated me to continue my educational journey. They have always supported me in everything I have accomplished in my life. Mis padres han sacrificado mucho por mi y hoy me toca sacrificar por ellos. I am passionate about representing my community and promoting social justice through my artwork. Artivism has allowed me to capture moments of resistance and resilience that exist within our communities. At a personal level, art has also allowed me to explore what it means to be Latinx and how to support social justice struggles in marginalized communities.

Katherine Abarca

Helen Papanikolas Scholarship Award

Master of Social Work & Master of Public Administration
Individuals who have motivated me are my parents who demonstrated and instilled in me resiliency, passion, and compassion. My work colleagues, community, and friends that support my personal and professional goals. I am passionate about achieveing racial justice and supporting marginalized youth. I have experienced educational inequity and know what it is like to need support and opportunity.

Gerardo Hernandez-Perez

T.E. Castillo Scholarship Award

Major: Elementary Education
Myself, family, friends, and community motivates me to continue my educational journey. I am looking forwrad to this academic year because I will be finishing courses for my major, which means I will be a steap closer to graduating. I am passionate about helping others. The support I have received through the Chicana/o Scholarship Fund has encouraged me to focus more on my career to become an elementary teacher.

Brenda Garcia Granillo

Valencia Michelle Chavez Memorial Scholarship

Major: Business Marketing
My family has sacrificed so much to live and thrive in this country; I wish to compensate them with my journey through higher ed. I am most passionate about my education and the power that it holds. Being able to represent my community of Hispanos y indocumentados inhigher education is something I take so much pride in.

Chrisina Guerrero Perez

Gilbert Martinez Scholarship Award

Major: Writing and Rhetoric
What motivates me is myself and family because I hope for our family to continue to grow and join the journey to offer more opportunities within our next generations. I am passionate about helping others within my community because I wish I was offered support going through my education pathway.

Andrea Daniela Jimenez Flores

Ernesto Gonzalez Memorial Award

Major: Communication and Sociology
My parents have always motivated me to be the best that I can be and have always encouraged me to excel regarding my education. Neither one of my parents went to high school, but they managed to give my sisters and me everything they could. They have sacrificed so much for us, and I really want to make them proud. I am most passionate about social justice. As a DACA recipient, I know what it feels like to be oppressed and face obstacles that you have no control over. My status has enabled me to become passionate about issues susch as immigration, racial injustice, female empowerment, gender equality, and more. It is my goal to become a civil rights attorney so that I can work directly with these issues and make a postivie change.

Oriana Canchumani

Pete Suazo Memorial Award

Major: Accounting
Minor: Information Systems
Mi familia. I want my mother to retire and have a home. She has sacrificed so much for my brother and me; it is the least I can do. Once I graduate and start my career in an accounting firm, I will be able to alleviate our financial burden. But the most exciting part of my educational endeavor is beig a role model for those to come after me. To prove that it can be done and that your past does not determine your future. I am passionate about lifting my community. As a Latin Woman, I have not had the same opportunities as my other White peers. And the challenges that come with being a first-generation student can be difficult enough. That is why I want to assist my Latino community so that they rise and be the best they can be.

Sinndy Rios

Patricia Diaz-Bazan Scholarship Award

Major: Political Science and Sociology
Minor: Ethnic Studies
My parents and family motivate me to continue my educational journey because of all they have had to give up coming to the United States. My community also pushes me to strive to accomplish my educational journey because of the need for representation in a different institution. I am most passionate about advocating for the undocumented community because that is something that I have been directly impacted. Especially right now because of the current political climate.

Rogelio Brambila Jr.

Ray Flores Memorial Award

Major: Anthropology, Biology, and Latin American Studies
Minor: Chemistry
My biggest supporters are my parents. My parents did not have the privilege to further their education, but they always encouraged me to pursue my educational and career goals. Even if they do not entirely understand how the higher education system works in the U.S., they still have my back. I am passionate about empowering underserved communities. I spent most of my life trying to hide my Mexican heritage and blend in with everyone else. It was not ubtil college that I realized how my culture and differences are strengths. At the U, I have spent a lot of time volunteering, staying involved with communities of color and underserved communities, which have helped shape my career goals. In the future, I want to work in medicine to serve immigrant families.

Gabriela Villalobos Olmos

Gladys Mixco Memorial Award

Major: Political Science and Sociology
Minor: Ethnic Studies
My family and my community motivate me to continue my educational journey. I am every part of my parent’s sacrifices, love, hard work, and sweat on their foreheads. My family and my community want more, and they deserve more. We want to be part of the table where decisions that affect us are being made. I believe nothing will stop us with our education and our unity. I am passionate about helping our communidad reach their fullest potential and have access to opportunities and resources that will allow them to thrive in all aspects of life because our success is America’s success. I am passionate about receiving an education as I owe it to my family and my community who have sacrificed so much in order for me to be here.

Pablo Francisco Cruz Ayala

Vicente Mayer Memorial Award

Major: Biomedical Engineering
Minor: Art Drawing
What motivates me is to set an example for my little sister who has gone through similar circumstances as myself. To be something for my litter sister to look up to and know that with hard work and dedication that someone like her can achieve greater things that what she is told to think. I am passionate about creating a community that helps and learns with each other. As it is something I had minimal support when I was growing up. I want to one day help build a space where people feel safe and cared for genuinely.

Maria de Jesus Garcia

Incoming New Student Chicana/o Scholarship Award


Jessica Reyes Bolanos

Incoming New Student Chicana/o Scholarship Award

Area of Study: Medical Field
Minor: Business
My family and I are the primary motivators in my life. I motivate myself because my education depends on me andy my family because they support me through this educational journey. I am passionate about having a better future for my family and myself. Give back for everything they did for me. I am also truly thatnkful for the opportunity the Chicana/o Scholarship Fund has granted my education.

Neidy Manzano

Incoming New Student Chicana/o Scholarship Award


Jennifer Adriana Salazar

Undergraduate Chicana/o Scholarship Award

Major: Gender Studies & Sociology
I am motivated by the activists and organizers throughout the world that have so much passion and love for their communities. I am also motivated by social change and work that will help create a better world. I love the quote by Angela Davis, “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I am changing the things I cannot accept.” I am passionate about social justice and humxn liberation for marginalized people. I want to be able to create spaces for marginalized folx to feel a sense of solidarity, comradery, and community, especially when navigating spaces that are systemically racist, homophobic, transphobic or harbor discrimination because of the hostile political climate fo the state and nation.

Wendy Vazquez

Undergraduate Chicana/o Scholarship Award

Major: Psychology/Criminology
Minor: Cognitive Science
Two years ago, I had a friend pass away. Before that, i was only interested in psychology. My friend, on the other hand, was passionate about the criminal justice system. We both as high school students pushed each other towards self-improvement and set college goals. The only difference between us two is that I can continue achieveing my goals. She was my initial motivation to learn about criminology and continue my college education. I will keep her legacy alive, as well as completing my dreams. It was not until I started watching the Sherlok Holmes TV show in Netflix that truly got me interested in my major field. The fact that Sherlock was able to decipher crime scenes and know how to pick at people’s minds really fascinated me. The human brain can never truly be understood, and that is what makes me passionate.

Reyna Escalera Villegas

Graduate Chicana/o Scholarship Award

Area of Study: Advanced Standing Social Work
There are many individuals who motivate me, such as; my family, firends, my mentees, my mentors, myself, and everyone that surrounds me. Why? Because I do not want to let them and myself down. I do my best for all of us! I am most passionate about social justice and basic human rights for everyone because through my volunteering and being part of my community, I have seen how many of the social policies affect our community.
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