Making the grade: McNary Latino scholars honored

Olga Gloria (right) helps Manuel Sandoval collect his scholarship from Keizer’s Latino Action Committee.

As each of 18 McNary High School seniors collected scholarships from the Latino Action Committee (LAC) last week, Roland Herrera had a message for each of the students as they departed: “We believe in you and don’t forget about your community.”

For the past several years, the LAC has provided scholarships to graduating Latinx seniors and every year the level of support grows.

“We were planning on giving the students $350 again like we did last year, but then an anonymous donor stepped forward an gave us $900 and we were able to add $50 to each student’s award this year,” said Olga Gloria who, with her husband Arturo, were founding members of LAC.

There were plenty of smiles to go around as Gloria handed out certificates honoring the students’ achievements and cash to those arriving in the parking lot of the Keizer Civic Center. Pandemic precautions forced the event to move outdoors and drive-up style the past two years.

Students submit essays along with their scholarship applications and Gloria said reading about the students – what they’ve already overcome and what their plans are for the future – is a highlight of her year.

“They always talk about the ways they want to make their parents proud and what they plan to do for their communities after they finish their education,” Gloria said. “Those things are in every one of the essays.”

LAC scholarship honorees this year were:

• Nathalie Alvarado who will attend George Fox University and transfer to the Oregon State University pharmacy program.

• Yisel Silva Bravo who will major in nursing at Linfield University.

• Julianna Falcon who will attend Chemeketa Community College and wants to be part of the FBI’s behavioral science unit.

• Valeria Garcia-Flores will attend Chemeketa and plans to transfer to Oregon State and major in counseling.

• Miguel Gaytan will attend Corban University and major in education. He will also be playing for the Warrior soccer team.

• Elias Gonzalez will be pursuing a degree in finance or accounting.

• Hugo I. Gonzalez will study business management and wants to start a construction business.

• Rosalinda Hernandez will major in human physiology and attend chiropractic school.

• Gisele Garcia Lopez will study civil engineering and wants to create buildings to withstand natural disasters.

• Eddie Martinez plans to attend college and will continue writing and playing his own music and playing soccer.

• Allison Martinez is accepted in the pre-medical imaging technology program at Oregon Institute of Technology.

• Camila Garcia-Monroy plans to study biochemistry and become a pediatrician.

• Miguel Angel Orduna plans to study electrical systems and works as a power line electrician.

• Jennifer Cabrera Ortiz plans to attend college.

• Jaer Macedonio Piedra plans to attend Chemeketa and transfer to a four-year university to study computer science.

• Manuel Avendano Sandoval plans to attend college and study business and leadership.

• Ethan Schurr plans to study computer science and design software.

• Jesse Tapia plans to act in movies and start his own designer fashion brand.

Miguel Gaytan. Camila Garcia Monroy.Nathalie Alvardo and her family.Yisel Silva Bravo.