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Latino association honors a trio of scholars

June 05, 2012|By Ruth Sowby
  • Awarding a Special Farewell Recognition are, from left, Glendale Latino Assn. Past President Mercy Velazquez and Arlene Villarin to departing Glendale Community College Superintendent/President Dawn Lindsay.
Awarding a Special Farewell Recognition are, from left,…

What if, at 26-years-old, you were a slightly older student looking to pick up some needed classes at Glendale Community College? What if you were a minority student, not of the majority ethnicity on campus? What if you had to negotiate the many highways and byways on campus via a walker? What if you had cerebral palsy since you were a toddler? What if, in spite of these obstacles, you maintained a 3.78 grade point average in naturopathic medicine and had already received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara? Paola Tapia's hard-won accomplishments were lauded with cash and applause at the Glendale Latino Association's Scholarship Awards Breakfast. Tapia, anything but “disabled,” reflected on her scholarship award, “I had a good upbringing. My parents pushed me to do the best and concentrate on the positive and on my belief in God.”

The Oakmont Country Club was the venue for some 250 members, guests and generous folks on Thursday. To kick off the breakfast, association President Nancy Guillen recognized city VIPs. First at the podium was Glendale Mayor Frank Quintero, a founding member of the association, who offered a heart-felt welcome from the City. “The GLA Scholarship Breakfast is one of my favorite events,” Quintero said. Members of the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees and the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education also were recognized.

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Association officers wasted no time in getting right to the scholarship awardees. They attended Clark High School, Crescenta Valley High School, Glendale High School, Hoover High School and Glendale Community College. Awardees came from varying backgrounds, ages, genders and ethnicities. The three scholarship winners from the college, besides Tapia, were Mayra Alvarez-Ramos, 21, majoring in interior design and planning to transfer to Cal State Long Beach in the fall; and Pedro Kim, 20, a chemical engineering and materials science major. This whiz kid from Brazil will transfer to the University of California, Berkeley in the fall.

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