What it lacked in formality, the members of Keizer’s Latino Action Committee (LAC) made up for in spirit.
On Tuesday, April 21, members of the group honored 20 McNary High School seniors with $300 scholarships drive-thru style, an accommodation for the social distancing required to stop the spread of the pandemic.
Despite the limitations, members of the committee as well as two city councilors and the Keizer mayor cheered on the graduates and deployed hastily-crafted noisemakers as they picked up their scholarship packet.
For the past several years, the scholarship awards have been the most forward-facing efforts of the (LAC), but much more is done behind the scenes in terms of advocacy and connection to local resources.
The scholarships this year went to:
• Vanessa Acosta Acosta who is planning to attend Portland State or Western Oregon University and earn a degree in criminal justice. Her current career goal is becoming a juvenile correctional counselor.
• Erika Cervantes Arellano hopes to attend a four-year university and work in the law enforcement field.
• Jessica Lopez Banda who plans to attend Western Oregon University and pursue a career in social work.
• Jesus Castro who plans to attend a four-year school or trade school and become an electrician.
• Luz Elena Chavez Chavez who wants to earn an associates degree in accounting at Chemeketa Community College and transfer to Western Oregon University and complete a bachelor’s degree in business.
• Anthony Chavez Cortes who plans to be a fitness coach or fitness nutritionist. Anthony Chavez Cortes
• Nuria Sierra-Cortes who plans to attend Western Oregon University and major in American Sign Language with a minor in criminal justice.
• Genecis Santiago Espinosa who plans to attend a four-year institution and major in business.
• Monserrat Falcon who plans to start at Chemeketa Community College and transfer to a four-year school.
• Linda Llanos Garcia who plans to attend college and study animation and visual effects.
• Nallely Gonzalez who plans to attend college and major in criminal justice or law enforcement.
• Luis Lopez who will be attending Corban University to study psychology and, he hopes, play soccer for the Warriors.
• Marissa Maciel-Maciel who plans to be a history professor after graduating from college. Marissa Maciel Maciel with Pastor Jose Dominguez of the Latino Action Committee
• Maria Morquecho whose plans include attending a four-year college or university.
• Karina Paniagua who plans to earn a degree in dental hygiene. Karina Paniagua
• Kristel Thornton who plans on attending a college.
• Maritza Trevino who plans to pursue a degree in social work.
• Lidia Valdez who plans to pursue a degree in elementary education. Lidia Valdez
• Nancy Mendez Vasquez who plans to pursue a degree in criminal justice or computer science at a four-year institution.
And last, but not at all least,
• Damaris Salvador Vega who plans to earn a degree as a dental assistant before moving on to become a dentist in his own right.