Friday, April 27, 2012

Southern California Students, Parents, Teachers, Schools, Mentors and Other Leaders in Higher Education Are Honored by the Nation's Leading Hispanic Education Fund

LOS ANGELESApril 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NBC4's Emmy Award-winning reporter Kim Baldonado will host the Hispanic Scholarship Fund's (HSF) Second Annual Leaders in Education Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, May 8 at 11:30 a.m. at the JW Marriott Hotel at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles.  HSF, the nation's leading provider of college scholarships to outstanding Latinos, and its distinguished board will honor a new generation of Southern California students, parents, teachers, schools and volunteers for being champions for education in their communities. By sharing their stories, HSF hopes to inspire others to follow in their footsteps. 
"We are pleased to honor these outstanding members of our community in Southern California," said Frank Alvarez, HSF CEO/President. "We have more scholarship recipients and alumni here than in any other part of the country, and education leaders, such as the ones we honor today, help HSF achieve its goal of ensuring that every Latino household across America includes at least one college graduate."
"We applaud the Hispanic Scholarship Fund for their dedication and efforts to support and prepare tomorrow's leaders for a successful future," said Tim Hanlon, executive vice president, Wells Fargo Philanthropy Group and HSF board member. "Wells Fargo's partnership with HSF at a national and local level is a valuable investment in our diverse communities and demonstrates Wells Fargo's commitment to quality education for our young people. We look forward to underscoring this commitment with a special announcement at the luncheon."
HSF's Board of Directors will be on hand at the event, led by Jim McNamara, HSF Board Chair and founder and Chairman of Panamax Films; Anthony Salcido, vice president, North American Financial Integration of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.; Tim Hanlon, executive vice president, Wells Fargo Philanthropy Group; actor/comedian Cheech MarinPresident of Galan EntertainmentNely Galanand Partner at Centinela CapitalFidel Vargasare also among our distinguished guests.
Also on hand will be Los Angeles Unified School District Board President Monica Garcia and Los Angeles Councilmember Jose Huizar, himself a recipient of an HSF scholarship.  Councilmember Huizar will present HSF with a Proclamation from the Los Angeles City Council at Council Chambers on Friday, May 4th at 10 a.m.
Award Winners
Hispanic Scholarship Fund presents awards to a deserving local student, parent, teacher, school and volunteer in the Los Angeles area.  The local education leaders that will be recognized for their efforts are:
Student of the Year – Jonathan Chiquito
Jonathan is a junior at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA), working on his bachelor's degree in Finance, with a minor in Economics. Jonathan has been involved in community service since the 12th grade, and has excelled in academics in spite of severe obstacles with a debilitating stroke as a college freshman.  His hard work and determination has not only placed him in the Dean's List as an International Scholar Laureate, but has instilled in him a commitment to inspire others to succeed, and a strong desire to help find cures for developmental disabilities in the future.  The Student of the Year Award is presented by Toyota
Parent of the Year – Eber Quezada
A mathematician by training and teacher by trade in his native PeruEber Quezada traded his vocation to support a better education for his children. Eber moved his family to the U.S. where he got a job as a pool man working 7-days a week to pay for college tuitions, while mentoring his children academically. Because of his sacrifice and dedication, his older daughter is graduating in Business Administration from UC Berkeley, his son is also attending UC Berkeley double majoring in Physics and Mathematics, and his youngest son will start high school next year. Today, Eber runs his own pool service business while going to school with his wife Enma to learn English.
Mentor of the Year – Dr. Suzanna Guzman
Dr. Guzman is the director of community engagement at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.  She strongly supports arts education.  She hosts, organizes, and chaperones events completely by herself and during after-school activities. Because LACHSA is a tuition-free public school, she has tirelessly combed L.A. County to spread the word of her high achieving school through every corner of LA County raising the numbers of applicants from 400 to 1100 in only 3 years-times. Dr. Guzman has been honored as the 2011 Mexican American Opportunity Foundations National Woman of the Year and the 2011 Bank of America local hero for her work with emerging artists, for donating performances to the community, for mentoring young musicians and helping underserved high school students with preparing for college interviews and auditions.
Teacher of the Year – Irazema Guerrero
South Los Angeles native, Irazema Guerrero teaches at Camino Nuevo Jose Castellanos Elementary where she strives to better the lives for her students through empowerment in education. Her vision is to give her students access by encouraging them to achieve academically, believe college is not only important but attainable, mentoring them through the many challenges they face in their path to college, and involving the parents in the process. Irazema also mentors other teachers at her school site, and through professional development in the community. A Psychology and Philosophy graduate from UCLA, Irazema is currently working on her Master's thesis about parent engagement in literacy.
School of the Year – Woodrow Wilson High School
Woodrow Wilson High School
Woodrow Wilson High School was established in 1937 in East Los Angeles, where 94% of the community is of Hispanic background. Its mission is to empower all students with the skills and knowledge to become independent learners and achieve measurable success. Wilson's student body consists of several academic-career learning communities and two magnet programs that have contributed to a positive jump in student's academic performance.  The school's well-articulated focus on student performance has led Wilson to become an AVID National Demonstration Site.
Leading HSF supporter Wells Fargo is the Presenting Sponsor of this year's luncheon, and will be presenting the School of the Year Award. HSF's long-time partner and event sponsor The Coca-Cola Company will present the Parent of the Year Award. Long-time National Partner Toyota will present the Student of the Year Award and 37-year HSF partner Anheuser Busch will present the Mentor of the Year Award.
Other sponsors include: American Honda Motor Company, Cardenas Markets, Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros, NBC Universal, Nielsen, Pantelion Films, Paradigm Talent Agency, and Southwest Airlines.
For more information about the event, visit
About the Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Founded in 1975, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund believes that the country prospers when all Americans have access to the opportunities a college education can afford.  As the nation's leading Hispanic higher education fund, HSF works to address the barriers that keep many Latinos from earning a college degree. To date, HSF has awarded over $360 million in scholarships and has supported a broad range of outreach and education programs to help students and their families navigate collegiate life, from gaining admission and securing financial aid to finding employment after graduation.  HSF has created Generation 1st Degree, a program that envisions a future where every Latino household will have at least one college graduate, creating an enduring impact on the college outlook of Latino families nationwide, and strengthening the American economy for generations to come. For more information about the Hispanic Scholarship Fund please visit:

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