By Russell J. Zazueta
East Los Angeles College’s scholarship recipients received $500 for their hard academic work on Nov. 13, thanks to the diligent fundraising efforts of the East Los Angeles College Foundation’s staff and Board of Directors.
ELAC President Marvin Martinez opened the California Community Colleges Scholarship Endowment Scholarships Ceremony (CCCSE), held in the S2 building Recital Hall, with an honorary speech dedicated to more than 120 scholarship recipients.
Martinez said, “Being a former college student who never received a scholarship, I really want to acknowledge these students because it takes a lot of effort, takes a lot of time.” Martinez is an ELAC Foundation Board member.
During his presentation on stage, Martinez said to the audience, “We’re giving away over $100,000 worth of scholarships.”
What Martinez is referring to is an endowment fund, or a type of fundraising savings account, that currently has over $1.8 million, all of which is designated for students.
The ELAC Foundation is allocating over $100, 000 of that amount to award students with a $1,000 scholarship for the year, provided that they meet a specific criteria.
Students are required to be enrolled full time, have a completion of 24 or more degree-applicable units, have a Board of Governors fee waiver in effect and have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.
The $1,000 is then divided into two increments of $500 over the course of the Fall semester and Spring semester. Recipients who fall behind on the CCCSE’s criteria after a semester of receiving a scholarship, fail to qualify for next semester’s scholarship of the remaining $500.
Also welcomed on stage as a guest speaker for the ceremony was a former ELAC student named Bulk Lao, whom Martinez considered “One of our (ELAC) superstars.”
According to Martinez, he’s been interviewed by State Chancellor Brice Harris and has appeared nationally on Public Radio.
Lao spoke of his 2.14 GPA when he started ELAC, the hard work and perseverance it took to earn scholarships.
“Never give up and push for your dreams,” said Lao.
Foundation Development Officer Martha Pelayo presented the scholarship awards to the rows of recipients waiting on stage.
Many ELAC Foundation staff members, along with some board members, participated in the ceremony by handing recipients their scholarships and taking a snapshot with them and Martinez to commemorate the moment.