Our Annual Scholarship Banquet on Friday was a big success! Over $165,000 was awarded amongst 39 seniors. The room was filled with anxious and enthusiastic students along with their loved ones. Our host this year was a SOY graduate himself, Jose Sanchez, ATC who with pride and excitement addressed our guests with inspiring words in both English and Spanish. Okairy Lomeli, also alumni, addressed all the seniors and gave a great, witty speech on her experiences in college and offered advice to the prospective college students. After receiving her BA from UC Santa Barbara this year, she will be headed to USC for her Master’s Degree in Social Work. Following Okairy came Laura Leon, one of our three transferring community college program members. Her motivational words in Spanish were heartfelt and iterated the importance of parental assistance. Laura received her Associate’s Degree from Orange Coast College and will be attending UC Santa Barbara in the Fall. Both students expressed their foremost gratitude to the SOY Center and all its staff, board members, and volunteers.
Along with all our great speakers, from alumni to our executive director, the night was not over yet. The presentation of the Nora Maher Memorial Scholarship and the Penny Myers Scholarship was our next highlight of the program. Congratulations to Sindy Ramirez and Blanca Morales, this year’s winners!
Trevor, our Executive Director, presented this year’s transferring students (Freddy Arciga, Laura Leon, and Leo Macias) and congratulated them on SOY’s behalf. He along with Silvia, Academic Program Coordinator, presented our graduating class of 2009 as well, which happens to be their first graduating class they have been with since their beginning in 7th grade in 2003. The stage was filled with happy faces and glowing eyes; and that was before the graduates opened their envelope and discovered their $500 gift check.
This year’s banquet had a great turn out and I thank everyone for their participation and thank the seniors for their delicious food contribution on behalf of SOY! I also want to thank our Board of Directors for accompanying us and Eddie for assisting me with the picture slide show. This event could not be possible without any of you.
Hope to see you all at next year’s banquet as well! 🙂